PM’s whirlwind campaign lifts BJP’s hopes, puts Cong on backfoot

Bengaluru, May 6 (IANS)
Even though rigorous campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has boosted the morale of the BJP in poll-bound Karnataka and put Congress on backfoot, it remains to be seen which party clinches victory as no party has won a successive mandate in the state since 1985.
However, with the Prime Minister reaching out to electorate in every nook and corner of the state campaigning for the saffron party, the BJP is hoping to script a history.
Preparing the battle ground well ahead of the announcement of the polls, Prime Minister Modi visited the state eight times this year.
Post April 24, when the process of withdrawal of nominations was completed, the party had planned 20 to 25 public rallies, conventions and roadshows by Prime Minister Modi.
The campaign blitzkrieg by Modi has even subsided arrest of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa in a corruption case and rebellion surge after BJP senior leaders quit the party.
Amid Congress manifesto promising to ban Bajrang Dal if voted to power, the Prime Minister likened the right-wing outfit to Lord Hanuman, reverred by all Hindus. Besides, he dubbed it as an insult to Lord Hanuman.
In the last leg of his three-day election tour, the Prime Minister, wasting no time, is participating in road shows in morning in Bengaluru and attending public rallies in other corners of the state. He is scheduled to address rallies on Saturday in Badami and Haveri and on Sunday in Shivamogga and Nanjangud before the curtains draw to a close for public campaigning on May 8.
The Prime Minister’s electioneering is scheduled to end with a special worship at historical Srikanteshwara temple Nanjangud in Mysuru district. He will board the flight to New Delhi from the Mysuru Airport.
“Karnataka’s electorate is wowed by the Prime Minister’s assurance that he will depute whole of New Delhi to the service of state and make it number one in the country, his emphasis on Karnataka state’s crucial role in taking the country’s economy forward,” political experts said.
Talking to IANS, Karunakar Kasale, BJP State Media In-Charge, said “The Prime Minister is not trying to just win elections. He is here with the perspective of the nation. The philosophy of the nation should win. He has not differentiated in Covid vaccination, in evacuating students stranded in war-torn Ukraine and Sudan, steps were taken without considering the religion of victims. His only aim is to bring honor to our culture and heritage.”
“The Prime Minister is not only visiting the state for campaigning. Earlier, he had visited the state for developmental activities. He had given push to Upper Bhadra project which was under wraps for decades, brought in railway reforms in the state,” he said.
Talking to IANS, senior political analyst B. Samiulla said: “PM Modi factor in Karnataka will give an advantage to BJP. He is coming to remote places of the city. The caste factor won’t work here, urban mindset dominates and major chunk of voters are BJP supporters.”
“The Modi factor is likely to bring down the anti-incumbency factor from 30 to 40 per cent to 8 to 9 per cent. When campaigning will came to an end, people will get time to think and decisions will be made, he said.
Considering the overwhelming response to his roadshows and mega public rallies, the Prime Minister is addressing the massive crowds in Lingayat and Vokkaliga heartlands all by himself, without the presence of party’s faces representing the communities.
The party leaders are confident that they will create a history by riding on the PM Modi wave.
However, Congress leaders are claiming that Prime Minister Modi’s popularity among the voters is a bubble and it will burst when the results will be out.
JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy has claimed that Prime Minister Modi’s repeated visits will have no impact on electorate in Karnataka, and he is all set to take reins of the state again.

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