Politicians intensify blitz as countdown begins in poll-bound Karnataka

Amit Shah in Bengaluru

He thinks if he speaks against Congress, against Siddaramaiah, his party will be benefited.

The notice contained excerpts and phrases from PM Modi's speeches delivered during the election rallies and said that the PM has intentionally and unabatedly made several "defamatory" and "untrue" statements against the Karnataka chief minister.

Sonia Gandhi has questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on crucial issues although he "just keeps talking" and said "speeches don't feed the hungry or heal the sick", addressing her first election rally in almost two years.

Siddaramaiah, it seems, will not only manage to cut Yeddyurappa's chances short, but he could also succeed in projecting himself as the tallest leader in Karnataka state. "Our motto is: Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas".

But as local factors become relevant in the Karnataka election, "Modi magic" no longer enjoys the same spell that could make everything else irrelevant. Karnataka is wishfully seen by the BJP as its gateway to the south. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be fighting against BJP's BS Yeddyurappa and JDS's Kumaraswamy for the CM's post in the upcoming polls.

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He visits the shrine before filing his nomination, as indeed does former Congress MP and minister BL Shankar contesting the seat, as did the JD (S) candidate, who landed up on the day i visited.

By Radhika RamaseshanThe BJP has construed the high-stakes Karnataka election as a bellwether of the 2019 battle - and has so far fought it by dint of Modi's magnetism alone.

"The Congress will return to power here". Siddaramaiah has accused the top BJP leaders of making "baseless, false and untrue remarks" about him in the campaign for the state election, voting for which will happen on Saturday. During the roadshow he was accompanied by many party leaders.

"When there is discussion about patriotism in our country, when there is a discussion about rashtra bhakti, raashtra geet, Vande mataram, some people are anxious", said PM Modi at an election rally in Jamkhandi, Karnataka. Manjula, he said, was once associated with the BJP but was now with the Congress, and demanded her immediate arrest.

"We'll check whether there are fake ones too", Byre Gowda added. "I mean, if it emerges as the biggest party, yes", Gandhi said, when asked during an interaction in Bengaluru if he would be the next prime minister after the next Lok Sabha elections.

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