New Delhi, Bengaluru:
The BJP is prepping a high-voltage campaign starring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, top Union Ministers and party leaders for the Karnataka election, due later this year.
PM Modi has been a frequent visitor to the state; in his latest trip on Monday, he inaugurated an airport in Shivamogga and launched many schemes in Belagavi.
Next, the ruling party has planned “Vijay Sankalp Yatras” from the four corners of the state.
BJP chief JP Nadda launched the first Yatra from Male Mahadeshwar Hills in Chamraj Nagar today. Tomorrow, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will flag off the second Yatra from Nandagarh in Belagavi.
Home Minister Amit Shah will launch the third and fourth yatras on Friday from Basavkalyan in Beedar district and Avathi in Devanhalli.
The four yatras are designed to cover over 8,000 km across the state, according to BJP leaders.
More than 50 national and state leaders will participate in the mass contact programme covering 31 districts and 224 assembly constituencies.
Amit Shah and JP Nadda are also visiting the Lok Sabha constituencies that the BJP lost in the last Lok Sabha election.
After some “80 rallies, 74 public meetings and 150 road shows”, the Yatras will converge on March 25 in Davangere with a rally to be addressed by PM Modi.
The Karnataka election is likely to be announced next month. The BJP’s leadership is also campaigning extensively in other states where elections are due – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
For the BJP it is critical to win Karnataka, the only south state where it has ever come to power, but where it has never ruled for a full term.
This time, the party’s biggest Karnataka face, BS Yediyurappa, has announced his retirement from electoral politics. Mr Yediyurappa, a former Chief Minister, was the BJP’s tallest Lingayat leader in the state.
Lingayats are a politically powerful community in Karnataka and the BJP is desperate to retain its allegiance.
The party hopes its carpet-bombing strategy will help fill the perceived vacuum in its Karnataka leadership during the campaign.
In the absence of a “face”, the BJP has fallen back on its biggest star — PM Modi. The party also hopes the tussle within the Congress between factions led by Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar benefit the BJP, he said.
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