Karnataka elections 2018: Despite his busy schedule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving no stone unturned to give the last minute-push to BJP cadres to ensure the saffron party’s win in the upcoming polls in the state. Reason: The tough fight BJP is facing from the Congress, which as per recent surveys remains popular in the state notwithstanding the anti-incumbency factor.
Compared to the 2013 Assembly elections, where the BJP could win only 40 assembly seats, the surveys show the saffron party is likely to finish very close to the Congress tally – either a few seats ahead or just a few seats behind.
The numbers, as predicted by recent opinion polls, don’t predict a clear winner in the state. This is a situation the BJP would not want at any point of time in Karnataka where the third key player – the JD(S) – has declared it would not ally with the BJP after the announcement of results on May 15.
The JD(S), which is predicted by almost all opinion polls to win around 30-40 out of 224 Assembly seats in the state, has also not made it clear whether it will back the Congress, which is in a neck and neck tussle with the BJP.
For the saffron party, the most favourable situation will be a clear majority if it wants to keep the momentum going, and also make further inroads into the South, in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. For the Congress too, Karnataka is a do-or-die battle and so far, as the surveys show, the party has been successful in checkmating the rising popularity of the BJP.
The prime minister is likely to go on a campaign blitz in Karnataka in the last two weeks before the election. Reports say Modi will address 16 rallies in eight days. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is also scheduled to address over 30 public gatherings ahead of the polling day.
It is believed that the election outcome may swing in favour of the BJP with Modi hitting the campaign trail after his return from China. But before that, the prime minister today took to his NaMo App to fire up BJP workers.
“I’m also a Kannadiga, consider that and move forward. I will also work in the same spirit. Now our job is to reach each and every voter. This is my request,” Modi said.
Watch PM Modi’s interactions with BJP workers:
Outlining the agenda of the party, Modi said the saffron party has three-pronged agenda for Karnataka – “development, fast-paced development, all-round development”, in other words, “vikas (development), vikas, vikas,”.
Talking about the Congress’ electoral tricks, Modi said, “When elections come, they (Congress) offer lollipops to a caste group so they get busy with it. But the BJP’s priority is politics of development.
The prime minister also hit out at the survey predictions of a hung assembly, he said the Congress spreading lies about the state would see a hung assembly after realising it won’t win.
“We walk ahead keeping unity in mind. Sabka saath, sabka vikas, is the mantra we follow. I have seen Karnataka has made up its mind on development. Now, that people have seen that the Congress is going to lose; people have started talking about a “hung” Assembly. They are spreading lies there will be no clear majority. It is their conspiracy to dissuade voters from casting their vote,” ANI quoted Modi as saying.
Is the PM right? The truth will be out on May 15.