The Congress and BJP have turned the Karnataka Assembly elections into a virtual battleground, with campaigning increasingly getting fierce, nasty, personal and bitter.
BJP star campaigner Narendra Modi’s repeated attack on Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi at a public rally here has evoked sharp reaction from the latter’s party leaders here, who have questioned the Gujarat Chief Minister’s development model.
Modi is slated for a “final offensive” on May two, a day before campaigning for the May five polls would end, addressing rallies in Belgaum and Mangalore seeking to “swing that one per cent vote”, as one BJP leader put it.
BJP President Rajnath Singh, senior leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj have actively participated in campaigning in recent days as the party, fighting anti-incumbency factor, is determined to give its best shot at efforts to retain power, which as of now looks a tall order.
Smelling blood, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned to storm into power, enthused as it is by some poll surveys which predicted that the party is the front-runner to form Government.
Rahul is slated to address three rallies — Mandya, Hassan and Belgaum — tomorrow, while Congress President Sonia Gandhi likely to address public meetings in Gulbarga and here a day later, subject to final confirmation.
In sharp contrast, barring former Chief Minister H D Deve Gowda and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, JDS doesn’t have any star campaigners, and the latter has entirely shouldered responsibility.
Corruption has emerged as the main campaign theme with the Congress accusing the BJP of being the “most corrupt” government the State has seen, while the ruling party sought to turn the tables seeking to highlight 2G and Commonwealth Games scams under UPA.
The Congress has promised to give a stable and corruption-free government, if voted to power. BJP, on the other hand, stressed that despite “small internal turbulence”, the party’s record on the development front is excellent and urged the people to vote for it on that basis.