BJP banking on Modi to counter Nilekani in Bangalore

Congress unsure of Rahul's roadshow

BJP banking on Modi to counter Nilekani in Bangalore

The BJP is all set to bring its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to the City on April 8 to counter Nandan Nilekani, the Congress’ high-profile candidate, who seems to have taken centre stage at Bangalore South constituency.

After campaigning in Shimoga for former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and in Mysore for journalist Pratap Simha, Modi is likely to reach Bangalore in the evening to address a rally in Bommanahalli, which borders Electronic City. 

The battle between BJP’s five-time MP Ananth Kumar and Nilekani is being keenly watched by people across the country. Hence, the BJP wants to leave no stone unturned. This is reflected in its move to bring Modi, who is campaigning for a party candidate for the first time in the City in this election.

The Congress, on its part, is not sitting quiet. Party sources said efforts were on to convince Rahul Gandhi to take out a roadshow in parts of Bangalore on April 7. However, none in the party is sure of the schedule. On his last visit, Rahul had interacted with students at Central College on February 15. He also took out a roadshow from Tumkur to Mandya the next day. The Congress is getting ready to welcome Rahul to Bellary and Mangalore on April 4.

While Nilekani is said to be the choice of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Arshad Rizwan, the Congress candidate for Bangalore Central, was reportedly hand-picked by Rahul.
The BJP is expecting good dividends from Modi’s visit to Bangalore, which will form part of the third leg of his visit to Karnataka. This would also be Modi’s second visit to Bangalore after he was declared the party’s prime ministerial candidate. He had addressed a mammoth rally in the City in November last year.

By planning to play the Modi card in Bommanahalli, the saffron party seems to be targeting the IT hub of the City. Ananth Kumar wanted Modi to hold a rally in the domain of his Congress opponent and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani.

BJP legislator R Ashoka told reporters that Bommanahalli has been chosen for the rally as it was strategically located. He said party workers of the four constituencies in the Bangalore region (North, South, Central and Rural) and Chikkaballapur will participate in the rally. It borders three constituencies, he added.

The Gujarat chief minister is likely to return to the State for another round of rallies on April 13 or 14, sources said.

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