Congress President Rahul Gandhi is set to embark on a two-day tour across the coastal districts of Karnataka from Tuesday; this is his third pre-election visit to the poll-bound state.
Traditionally, the coastal region of the state is the weakest region for the ruling Congress.
But in 2013, in a whitewash of sorts, the Congress swept the districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. Congress secured seven out of the eight seats in Dakshina Kannada, all of which were held by the BJP in 2008. Similarly in Udupi too, the party exceeded expectations by winning three out of five seats.
But speculations are rife that the Congress house is not in order ahead of Rahulâ€™s visit.
Fisheries and Udupi District-in-Charge Minister Pramod Madhavraj, who was the partyâ€™s prime organiser in the region, is allegedly planning to switch his affiliation to the BJP ahead of the elections.
Media reports recently highlighted that his poll campaign vehicle does not feature the Congress symbol or photos of the state and central leadership. But he himself has categorically denied his association with the BJP.
Rahulâ€™s special flight from New Delhi will land at the Mangaluru airport at 11.15 am on Tuesday. From there, he is expected to embark on a helicopter trip to Thenke Yermal in Udupi district.
During this visit, he will be visiting Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Chikmagalur and the Janata Dal (Secular) stronghold of Hassan.
He will interact with party leaders and the cadre during his visit. The Congress chief will also inaugurate the Rajiv Gandhi Political Institute in Udupi, named after his late father and former Prime Minister, and will also visit temples, dargahs and churches in all four districts.
Apart from several closed-door meetings with party workers and interactions with different interest groups, he will address a public meeting at Nehru Maidan in Mangaluru on Tuesday evening.
Gokarnatheswara Temple, Rozario Church and Ullal Dargah are part of his schedule for Tuesday.
On Wednesday, he is set to interact with block presidents and senior party leaders of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.
He will also visit the Sharadamba Temple, Sringeri Mutt and meet influential seer Jagadguru Shankaracharya before addressing public rallies in Chikkamangaluru and Hassan..
Rahul had visited the state for the first time after becoming the party chief in December, and then twice in February, covering Koppal, Ballari, Raichur, Yadigir, Kalaburgi and Bidar districts in his first visit and Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkot and Dharwad districts in the second.