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As BJP Campaign Peaks With Modi, Can Siddaramaiah Stump PM in Death Overs?

The PM landed in Karnataka just 12 days before the voting day. He is now leading the BJP campaign making a blistering attack on the Congress. The saffron party is also smelling victory after the PM hit the ground, claim party insiders.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:May 7, 2018, 10:01 AM IST
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As BJP Campaign Peaks With Modi, Can Siddaramaiah Stump PM in Death Overs?
File photos of PM Narendra Modi and CM Siddaramaiah.
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Bengaluru: Many in the Congress were wondering why BJP's star campaigner Prime Minister Narendra Modi was staying away from campaigning in Karnataka for the whole of March and April.

Some even started celebrating, claiming that even the PM had realised that the BJP had no chance of winning in Karnataka and was deliberately avoiding it. The state BJP rushed to Modi after its campaign failed to pick up pace in the last two months.

The PM landed in Karnataka just 12 days before the voting day. He is now leading the BJP campaign making a blistering attack on the Congress. The saffron party is also smelling victory after the PM hit the ground, claim party insiders.

“It is true that the Congress was ahead of us. Our campaign had lacked charm. After Modi's entry the balance is tilting towards the BJP. His rallies are indicating that,” said a B S Yeddyurappa confidant.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Modi hit the Karnataka trail simultaneously, but it is Modi is who is drawing big crowds. Yogi’s rallies have received a milder response.

The Congress is aware of the changing scenario. But not ready to accept that. It officially maintains that even Modi can't save the BJP and the Congress will definitely win on May 15.

Speaking to News18, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that there was no Modi wave. He said, “It is a hype created by the BJP and media. Actually, there is no Modi wave on the ground. Only BJP supporters are attending his rallies. The silent majority is with us and we will win at any cost".

The BJP's CM face and the party state president B S Yeddyurappa who was leading a not so inspiring campaign is now confident of a BJP win. Speaking to News18, he said, "Let there be no doubt. I will take the oath as CM on May 17. Siddaramaiah will lose his own seats".

The third player JD(S), which is being accused of helping the BJP in this "do or die" battle for Karnataka, is nervously watching the latest developments. Only a hung Assembly can save Gowda's party from political extinction. If the Congress or the BJP make it to Vidhana Soudha on its own, it will be the end of road for the JD(S) in Karnataka politics.

Modi's public praise for Deve Gowda and a U-turn in 48 hours have also sent confusing signals across the Gowda heartland of old Mysore.

To counter Modi blitzkrieg, the Congress has decided to go all out in the next four days. Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is arriving in Karnataka on Tuesday. She will be addressing public meetings in Lingayat heartland of Mumbai-Karnataka region. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who has already addressed public meetings and led roadshows in all 30 districts in the state, is also addressing a few more public meetings.

Siddaramaiah has just completed a 10-day tour of Karnataka and will be heading to his hometown Mysore on Wednesday. Yeddyurappa will be heading to his hometown Shimoga on the same day.

The Karnataka campaign is reaching its climax with Modi leading from the front with 21 well-arranged public meetings across the state. Some analysts believe that the Congress peaked too early and it is now struggling to keep pace with Modi.

In 50-over cricket parlance, Congress' all-rounder Siddaramaiah is bowling in the death overs. And PM Modi is batting at number seven hitting fours and sixes. The Congress score which Modi is chasing is still decent and the state Congress leaders believe that the CM can still claim the wicket of PM.

Most pre-poll surveys have predicted a hung Assembly and the Congress and the BJP are making last-minute efforts to prove the pollsters wrong. The parties know that a fractured mandate helps only the Gowda clan and can be disastrous for both the national outfits.​
| Edited by: Mayur Borah
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