As Modi hits campaign trail in Karnataka, Congress claims his magic won't work

As Modi hits campaign trail in Karnataka, Congress claims his magic won't work

The Congress appeared unperturbed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi hits the campaign trail for the Karnataka Assembly elections on Tuesday.

Pumped up by sustained efforts put in by their party chief Rahul Gandhi, Congress leaders believe that Modi will be unable to weave the same magic spell that he had cast over Gujarat to snatch victory from what looked like a certain defeat for the BJP.

“It appears that the prime minister has scaled down his campaign in Karnataka, he is addressing fewer rallies than he was earlier supposed to,” a senior Congress leader told DH.

He claimed that Modi has scaled down his campaign in Karnataka after receiving adverse reports about the BJP’s performance in the state.

According to the BJP leaders, Modi is set to address three public meetings a day in Karnataka on May 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 making it a total of 15 election rallies.

Rahul had hit the campaign trail early and has been visiting Karnataka regularly since
July last year. He has already toured 30 districts — mostly by road — and reached out to various religious sects by visiting mutts, temples, dargahs and churches.

The Congress has also kept up its attack on the allegations of corruption against the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa and is making all-out efforts to paint the prime minister as a person who speaks untruths.

“We need not do any special efforts to counter Modi. BJP president Amit Shah is helping us on that front,” AICC spokesperson Pawan Khera said referring to several bloopers by Shah, including the one in which he had dubbed Yeddyurappa the most corrupt chief minister the state had ever seen.

The Congress had already made an attempt to dent the votes of the Lingayat community, key supporters of the BJP, by acceding to their demand for recognition as a religious minority.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has also tried to appeal to the sentiment of Kannada pride by raising issues such as a  separate state flag.Opinion polls conducted in the run-up to
the elections have forecast a close fight between the Congress and the BJP and each party would try to tilt the scales in its favour when Karnataka votes on May 12.