Ahead of the Assembly elections, on a penultimate day before campaigning ends in the State, both the leading parties rolled out all their heavy hitters to woo voters one last time.
For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External affairs minister S Jaishankar, MP Smriti Irani, and other leaders were all out in different parts of the State campaigning. Congress too had their star campaigners Gandhi family – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra -, Mallikarjun Kharge, Bhupesh Baghel, and others participating in rallies and press conferences.
Modi kicked off his campaign for the day with a 10-km roadshow in Bengaluru and held a public meeting in Shivamogga Rural in the afternoon. He also visited the Shri Sankateshwara Swami Temple Nanjangud in the old Mysuru belt where the party is trying to make a dent in a traditional Congress -JDS territory.
While Modi did his roadshows and rallies, Sitharaman participated in discussions with women entrepreneurs in Bengaluru, while foreign minister S Jaishankar participated in discussions in Mysuru, and Smriti Irani held roadshows in Bagalkot and Davangere districts. Devendra Fadnavis, Amit Shah, and Yogi Adityanath are also in the State’s capital.
Both parties were seen taking a jab at each other. Modi in his Shivamogga rally, took a jab at Congress saying that the party was “scared” and had turned to bringing in Sonia Gandhi after their “lies did not work” in the Karnataka election campaign. The Prime Minister also accused the opposition party of keeping small farmers out of the banking system.
At a public meeting in Moodbidri, Karnataka, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra drew people’s attention to the status of the violence in the State. “PM Narendra Modi Ji if there’s violence in Karnataka it is because of unemployment, if there’s violence in Karnataka it is because of your 40 per cent commission Government. Earlier there were 4 different banks, Corporation Bank, Vijaya Bank, Syndicate Bank and Kannada Bank, and now because of this government today all have merged into one bank,” she noted.
While newly minted leader of the Congress party, Jagadish Shettar - a former BJP Chief Minister - claimed that he was receiving more support this time and felt confident about winning the Karnataka Assembly elections by a sizable majority. “This time people’s blessings are with me. More people are coming to support me. So, I will win by a huge margin. Sonia Gandhi’s and Rahul Gandhi’s presence has definitely given us a boost,” Shettar claimed.