Bangalore, May 3: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi surprised many and may be himself, and overcame a temptation to keep away from a losing proposition, by campaigning in Karnataka.
By coming to Karnataka and touching crowd at three different regions of the state, Modi has elevated himself to the top-tier of political landscape, where victory and defeat are taken in good stride, and that they do not affect the charachter of the leader. He is now on a firm ground as BJP's face like Atal Behari Vajpayee and LK Advani.
The BJP is not doing well in Karnataka is an old story. Now, it may still gathers its wits and build on Modi factor in next 48 hours. The official campaign ends tonight but informal meetings and canvassing take place till the polling closes on May 5.
For Modi, Karnataka stain is not an issue. He has raised the morale of the BJP in Karnataka and that is what national leaders do. They do not just give speeches, they change the focus and the outlook of an issue or campaign. Modi seems have achieved a fair amount of both, and this will hold good for the general elections.
Karnataka embraces Modi
Modi's new found status was evident in posters put up the many BJP candidates in Karnataka. His picture overshadowed that of party president Rajnath Singh and in some cases even Advani.
The reason could be due to definite issues and images that Modi generates.
Without doubt, it has been established that Modi is now synonymous with development. His Gujarat model is something everybody wants to emulate and implement it.
The BJP in Karnataka is asking for votes in the name of development and who else but Modi can sell that without much talking or explanation.
Karnataka's Home Minister R Ashok, who himself is credited with success of public transport in Bangalore, has displayed Modi in his posters.
Perhaps, it could be daring but all the same politically correct message, that BJP candidate Nirmal Surana has displayed Modi poster in his Muslim-dominated Shivajinagar constituency. It shows that Modi has broken the artificial barrier built by opposition parties and the vested interests, and is now a mass leader, who has an impressive CV and an icon of development.
Modispeak in Karnataka
"You have seen how the Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government in Delhi has been faring during the last nine years, how it failed to control price rise, inflation and in how many scams it has been involved."
"How dare the Congress ask for votes in Karnataka when it had ruined the country from Delhi. Beware of voting for the Congress as it would do to your state what it did to the nation."
"This Mr Golden Spoon (Rahul) says he follows the principals of Mahatma Gandhi. Does this Mr Golden Spoon know that Mahatma Gandhi wanted to dismantle the Congress party. Can Mr Golden Spoon tell us when will Congress be dismantled? We are in a hurry."
"What kind of governance and administration can you expect from the Congress when its prime minister promotes those who failed to perform."
"If the Congress cannot safeguard Delhi, how can it take care of Karnataka. How can you rely on such a party which makes false promises?"
"The choice is between vote-bank politics of the Congress, which appeases all sections of society to grab power and the development politics of the BJP, as evident from the progress Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chittisgarh have made under our party rule. Compare our performance record with that of the Congress-ruled states. You will know the difference."