Rama Krishna Sangem
Prime Minister Naendra Modi has pinned all hopes on his mega 25 km long roadshow in Bangalore city on May 6, Saturday, as ruling BJP is in poor state in this metro with 26 assembly seats. In fact, BJP has started off this assembly elections with many drawbacks – corruption tags of Basavaraj Bommai government, defection of many leaders from the party to Congress and severe anti-incumbency against the ruling party etc.
As per early opinion polls conducted in March first week, Congress is much ahead with 39 per cent votes, as against BJP’s 30 per cent. The projections then were like: Congress may get up to 115 MLAs, while BJP stop at 75-85 MlAs. The third player – JD(S) is strong in its strongholds – of Mandya and Hasan regions, which can fetch the party around 25-30 seats. So, Gowdas have every hope to claim CM post, even these numbers.
Congress for the first time has been showing a picture of unity – between former CM Siddaramaiah and PCC president DK Shivakumar. Plus, the role of AICC president Mallikarjuna Kharge too added weight to the party’s caste appeal. On the other hand, BJP doesn’t have any such big names – though CM Bommai is considered to be a mild and weak leader who cannot control his ministers, leave alone MLAs.
Modi steps in to stem the fall
At this stage, PM Narendra Modi took upon him the role of uplifting prospects of BJP in Karnataka. Out of a dozen surveys, both opinion and pre-poll ones, only three or four projected better figures to BJP while all others gave Congress comfortable numbers – from 115 to 150 MLAs. Still, BJP top brass led by Home Minister Amit Shah wanted Modi to step into to stop the fall of BJP in its southern base – of Karnataka.
PM Modi has addressed scores of rallies and spent more than 30 days in the last few months to shore up BJP prospects. His last ditch effort of holding mega roadshow came two days before the open campaign ended on May 8, Monday. At the same time, Congress too fired all its ammunition – right from Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi to Priyanka Gandhi – in its campaign. Need to see, if Modi can neutralize the Congress blitzkrieg.