(G.N.S) Dt. 27
Moving on to the next major poll battle, the BJP has intensified its campaign in Karnataka with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to address a public rally in the State on January 28 on the culmination of the party’s two-and-half-month ‘Parivartan Yatra’ in the State.
Set to throw a ‘serious challenge’ at the ruling Congress in Karnataka, the BJP is currently running a 75-day campaign across the State. The campaign will culminate with Modi addressing a public rally on January 28. In line with the ‘campaign Yatras’ in other States, the party is conducting ‘Nav Karnataka Parivartan Rally’ in 234 constituencies in the State. BJP’s election-in-charge of Karnataka and Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar last week visited the State to oversee the success of campaign in the State. The party has over the last three years found ways to galvanise voters in the poll-bound States through ‘Yatras’ dotted with rallies. The party has varying themes for States, suiting the issues and electoral mood in a particular State. If it was ‘Gaurav Yatra’ in Gujarat, then the ‘Parivartan Yatras’ in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand created a favourable poll atmosphere for the party. In Kerala, where the party is digging in its heels , BJP president Amit Shah had led the ‘Jansuraksha yatra’ to create public opinion against the ruling CPM.
In continuation of the prolonged election rallies and ‘Yatras’, BJP is carrying out the ‘Nav Karnataka Parivartan rally’, which commenced on November 2 at Bangalore in the presence of Shah.
Leader of Opposition in legislative council KS Eshwarappa and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa were together on the stage on November 2, to send out a message that both warring leaders have reconciled with each other. Eshwarappa, an influential Kurba (shepherd community) leader, who has been deputy-chief minister in Jagdish Shettar-led BJP government from. 2012 to 2013 had earlier picked up a fight with Yeddyurappa on the issue of appointments to district units. BJP, which had come to power in Karnataka on its own in 2008 but lost to the Congress in 2013, is hopeful that it could make a comeback with Yeddyurappa’s hold over numerically strong Lingayat caste and the anti-incumbency factor against the Congress Government,
Congress has accused that the BJP is running its campaign on religious polarisation by attacking the legacy of Tipu Sultan and raising the issue of ‘Islamic radicalisation’ in parts of Karnataka. The BJP, which has deployed a number of its central ministers from Karnataka including Ananth Kumar, Sadanand Gowda and Anant Kumar Hedge for poll campaign, is highlighting issues such as corruption, farmers’ plight , urban mismanagement and lawlessness. The party strategists have drawn elaborate plans, like on the pattern of Gujarat, to micro-manage 55,000 booths in the State. Besides, the two main rivals Congress and the BJP, the Janta Dal (S) of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy is also expected to be in the reckoning and may play a decisive role in tilting the election balance. In 2013, the JD (S) had won as many as 40 Assembly seats equal to that of the BJP’s while the Congress got a clear majority with 122 seats.
(G.N.S) Dt. 27