Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend four rallies in poll-bound Karnataka on 6 May, a day after addressing an equal number of public meetings in the state where a high-stakes battle between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will decide the future of the two parties.
First on the itinerary of the PM is Chitradurga, where he will address BJP supporters at 11.30 am. He will then head to Raichur, which is 400 km as the crow flies north of Bengaluru.
At 4 pm, PM Modi will address supporters and campaign for his party in Jamakhandi in Bagalkot district. He will then head for Hubli, the second-largest city in Karnataka, for a scheduled rally at 6 pm.
Chitradurga is BJP’s bastion. The party has fielded sitting MLA GH Thippareddy, who is up against Janata Dal (Secular)’s new face KC Veerendra and Congress’ Dr HA Shanmukhappa.
In Raichur, incumbent MLA Dr Shivaraj Patil, who won the seat as a JD(S) candidate, is now fighting for it from the BJP camp. The JD(S) has fielded Mahantesh Patil and Congress has named former MLA Sayed Yasin as its candidate.
Jamakhandi has been see-sawing between the BJP and the Congress. The sitting MLA, Siddu B Nyamagouda, is from the Congress, who will this time face BJP’s Shrikanth Subbarao Kulkarni. Kulkarni is a former MLA from the same seat.
Hubli-Dharwad west and Hubli-Dharwad central have been with the BJP since 2008. Hubli-Dharwad east was won by Congress’ Abbayya Prasad in 2013. Hubli-Dharwad central is the constituency of leader of the opposition in Karnataka assembly and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar.
On Saturday, the PM had in different rallies in the state attacked the Congress of corruption and ignoring the plight of farmers. The PM had also narrated how he “saved” JD(S) chief and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda in 2014.
“After the Karnataka results, Congress will become ‘PPP Congress’ – Punjab, Puducherry and Parivar Congress,” he said in Gadag, which is located 390 km from Bengaluru.
Earlier in the day, he had hailed the contribution of saints and mutts during an address in the Lingayat-dominated Tumakuru.
He had also addressed a gathering later in the day in Shivamogga. BJP’s CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa is contesting from Shikaripura constituency in the same region.
Modi ended Saturday with an evening public meeting in coastal district of Mangaluru.