Yatras and bus campaigns for BJP, JD (S) as 2018 Karnataka poll battle heats up

The BJP’s Parivartana Yatra kicks off on Thursday, with party sources claiming nearly two lakh workers on one lakh motorbikes participating.
Yatras and bus campaigns for BJP, JD (S) as 2018 Karnataka poll battle heats up
Yatras and bus campaigns for BJP, JD (S) as 2018 Karnataka poll battle heats up
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With just six months left for the Karnataka Assembly elections, the JD (S) and the BJP are upping the ante on their campaigns with statewide tours.

While the BJP has launched a Parivartana Yatra that will be led by a specially designed ratha, the JD(S) is launching around 50 vehicles mounted with big LED screens to screen campaign videos to public gatherings across the state.

According to sources in the BJP, nearly Rs 1 crore has been spent on the BJP’s specially designed ratha, which will be unveiled on Thursday when the Parivartana Yatra kicks off sometime after noon.

Launching the 75-day Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivartana Yatra on Thursday is National Party President Amit Shah, who is landing in Bengaluru at around noon. The BJP claims that this will be the biggest ever yatra launch in the state.

BJP sources say that as many as two lakh party workers have landed in the city on one lakh bikes from every polling booth in the 16 southern districts of Karnataka. They are gathering at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) grounds near Tumakuru Road, where the launch ceremony will take place.

An additional one lakh workers will be present at the venue during the launch as well. Former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok, who has been appointed the convenor of the yatra, said that Amit Shah will land at the HAL airport at around noon, and travel to the launch venue by helicopter to prevent any traffic jams in the city.

“Two drones will be deployed to monitor the crowd and film the event. The yatra aims at exposing the misdeeds of the Congress government,” R Ashok said.

Thursday will also see the Congress MLA from Channapatna, CP Yogeshwar, and Kuduchi MLA P Rajeev of the Badavara Shramikara Raithara Congress joining the BJP in the presence of Amit Shah.

Top BJP leaders including Union Ministers will join in the yatra at various places, as it passes through the 224 Assembly constituencies in the state.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to launch the second leg of the yatra for the state’s northern districts at Hubballi on December 21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the yatra on its concluding day in Bengaluru on January 28.

The JD (S) was scheduled to launch its new campaign – the Kumaraparva-Hosa Manvanthara Shubharamba on November 3 from the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency in Mysuru.

However, following the death of Heggadadevanakote JD(S) MLA S Chikkamadu on Wednesday, the event has been postponed.

The party’s campaign buses, which were to be launched with the new campaign, will mainly play a half-hour film on party President HD Kumaraswamy and his achievements.

“The party has hired these vehicles to highlight the contributions and achievements made by the party during my tenure as the Chief Minister of Karnataka,” Kumaraswamy told the media.

The buses will also distribute booklets explaining the party’s programmes and play campaign songs to draw voters.

Kumaraswamy, who underwent a heart surgery recently, is planning his comeback into politics by paying obeisance to the Goddess Chamundeshwari atop Chamundi Hill in Mysuru.

Considering his health condition, the party is sending circulars to all district and taluk party offices mandating that party workers should neither garland him nor burst crackers when he tours constituencies.

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