PM to hold 4 ral­lies in K’taka in less than a month

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - Ku­mar Ut­tam let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com ▪

NEWDELHI: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi is set to un­leash a cam­paign blitzkrieg in Kar­nataka from next week, ad­dress­ing four ral­lies in 23 days, a BJP leader privy to the sched­ule of his poll drive said.

Kar­nataka, which is likely to go to polls in the mid­dle of this year, is one of five states where the Congress is in power.

Modi will be­gin his cam­paign drive from Mysore, the home dis­trict of chief min­is­ter Sid­dara­ma­iah, on Fe­bru­ary 19. He would then ad­dress a rally in Daven­gere, the cen­tral Kar­nataka dis­trict known for its tex­tile in­dus­tries, on Fe­bru­ary 27. The PM is then sched­uled to fly to Lin­gay­at­dom­i­nated Bi­japur of Mum­baiKar­nataka re­gion, com­pris­ing of 50 as­sem­bly seats, on March 4 and then to Raichur of the Hy­der­abad-Kar­nataka re­gion, which con­sists of 31 as­sem­bly seats, on March 13.

“Modi will be trav­el­ling to build mo­men­tum for the BJP be­fore the poll dates are an­nounced,” the BJP leader said.

BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah would also play a key role in ex­pand­ing the saf­fron foot­print in the south­ern state in the com­ing days. From Fe­bru­ary 20, he is sched­uled to spend three days in the coastal Kar­nataka, which is known for the strong pres­ence of the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh (RSS) and other Sangh-af­fil­i­ated out­fits.

Dur­ing his tour, Shah would ad­dress a work­ers’ rally near the Kukke Subra­manya Temple in Dak­shina Kan­nada dis­trict on Fe­bru­ary 19 and a fish­er­men con­ven­tion in temple town of Uduppi on Fe­bru­ary 20. Shah’s itin­er­ary in­cludes a visit to the house of a Ba­jrang Dal ac­tivist who was hacked to death in Jan­uary.

It would be for the first time that both Modi and Shah will be hold­ing ral­lies in dif­fer­ent parts of Kar­nataka at the same time.

The BJP is bank­ing on its big guns’ star power to tilt the out­come of the up­com­ing polls in its favour and oust the Congress from Kar­nataka. The party has tar­geted Sid­dara­ma­iah on is­sues rang­ing from farmer sui­cides to ‘grow­ing cor­rup­tion’.

The Congress, how­ever, has launched a high-deci­bel counter of­fen­sive, ques­tion­ing the Modiled cen­tral govern­ment over de­mon­eti­sa­tion, GST and un­em­ploy­ment.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had on Mon­day ended his four­day Janashir­vad Ya­tra in north Kar­nataka, a tra­di­tional BJP strong­hold, by launch­ing an at­tack on the BJP and RSS.

▪ Naren­dra Modi

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