Bengaluru, May 5: Sorry, we forgot Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stopped using the word mitron (friends) in his speeches after some "anti-nationals" made fun of the oft-repeated term. These days, Modi woos voters by addressing them as "bhaiyo aur behno" (brothers and sisters) in his trademark style.
It's quite a gender neutral phrase to mesmerise a crowd in Karnataka too, where his Hindi is too pure for Kannada sensibilities and the likes of Ananth Kumar are busy translating the PM's speeches for prospective voters. Or, are his speeches, which always begin with Kannada and then slowly meander into Hindi, are lost in translation?We say "no", Kumar is doing a decent job, even though he pauses and fumbles at times to catch up with Modi while translating Modi in poll-bound Karnataka.
The issue of Kannada pride has been shrewdly stirred ahead of the elections by the incumbent Siddaramaiah government as it gleefully succumbed to the violent demands of the pro-Kannada groups to remove Hindi signboards from Bengaluru's metro stations to promote the local language. The Congress CM also unveiled a new flag for Karnataka recently, which is awaiting approval from the Centre.
When Siddaramaiah can go this far to protect Kannada pride, can Modi be left behind?
As Modiji understands local sentiments well, he is going to great lengths to invoke revered Sir M Visvesvaraya in almost all his speeches to target his bête noire Rahul Gandhi who badly failed to correctly pronounce the Bharat Ratna awardee's name.
The PM made a late entry into Karnataka to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming Assembly elections scheduled next week on May 12. He arrived in Karnataka on Tuesday and since then every day he's attending at least three to four rallies as his charter plane hovers from one corner of the state to another.
Initially, the saffron party had planned 15 rallies for Modi, now his rallies have been increased to 21 in Karnataka. The sudden change in decision to increase the number of his rallies could be well-gauged from the fact that the BJP is perhaps worried that the Congress has an upper hand in the state polls.
Every day, the people of Karnataka are having a good dose of Modi. In rallies after rallies, he raises his voice to a pitch-high, then slowly brings it down and then again let it go wild to reach the last man in the crowd. His hand gestures are also to be looked into carefully. Sometimes he spreads his arms like Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan does, then he points his finger to an invisible person whenever he raises an accusation against Rahul or Siddaramaiah or else he will just put his hands in his waist to rest and look around at the crowd.
In all his theatrics, the people of Karnataka are wondering why Modiji has given tickets to eight politicians belonging to the camp of scam-tainted mining barons, Reddy brothers, from Bellary. The people of the state are equally worried over the BJP's choice of its chief ministerial candidate, BS Yeddyurappa, who too has been privy to multi-billion mining scam in the state.
The voters of Karnataka are confused as on the one hand Modi talks against the Congress' corruption and on the other hand gives tickets and position of pride to Reddy brothers and Yeddyurappa.
The people of Karnataka, who dearly love peace and harmony, are not at all amused to see chief minister Yogi Adityanath leaving Uttar Pradesh during a "stormy" time to campaign in the state and create communal division.
The voters of Karnataka also want PM Modi to talk about rising crimes against women and high fuel prices across the country, among other burning issues. But is Modi ready to stop his unending Mann Ki Baat? Is the PM ready to listen to the voice of Karnataka?