Other national leaders who will campaign in the state include Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Seetharaman and Smriti Irani.

Modi Amit Shah Yogi Adityanath BJP gets star campaigners to lend late push
Karnataka Elections Karnataka 2018 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 18:08

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has confirmed a list of star campaigners, including national level leaders PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, who will be campaigning for the party in Karnataka.

The 40 high-profile campaigners are set to kick the BJP’s campaign in the state into high gear just before the polls.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the first central leader to arrive in the state, following which he addressed party workers in Udupi on Monday.

He will be followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is also set to address a rally in the coastal district on May 1. Party sources said that it will be one of 16 rallies that the PM will take part in.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is expected to arrive in the state on May 3 and is set to take part in over 30 rallies, especially in the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.

Party president Amit Shah, meanwhile, has taken up residence in a villa in Bengaluru, from where he will be working until the elections.

The list of campaigners also includes Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Minister for Defense Nirmala Seetharaman, and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani. 

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna will also be campaigning for the BJP in the state.

The BJP began its campaign for ‘development’ in Karnataka way back in November 2017 when it launched the Parivartana Yatra, a series of rallies held to mobilise party cadres in the state.

The Parivartana Yatra rallies continued for over three months and culminated in a massive rally held in Bengaluru’s Palace Grounds on February 4, when PM Narendra Modi addressed the gathering.

Following the Parivartana Yatra rallies, the party has held the Kamal Jatres in nine districts, particularly in north Karnataka, aiming to connect with rural voters. The jatres highlighted the work done by the NDA government at the centre. It also wooed people by holding fairs featuring games, food stalls, magicians, laser shows and so on.

In addition, the BJP has also strengthened its presence online with an extensive drive to create WhatsApp groups at the booth level. The party has created around 30,000 WhatsApp groups in the state so far.

The BJP is looking to overturn an abysmal result in the previous Assembly elections when the party managed to garner only 40 seats. The Congress formed the government in the state after winning a clear majority of 122 seats.

However, BJP leaders across the state are confident that it has turned a corner since the 2013 ‘humiliation’ and are predicting that the BJP will even win the 113 seats required to form a majority in the Karnataka assembly.

Interestingly, it is widely held that the Karnataka elections will serve as bellwether ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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