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Karnataka elections: The Narendra Modi impact

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Let Dhoni come said a BJP leader when he was asked about why the BJP's campaign was looking lacklustre sometime in April. He was making a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who in the final leg of the campaign for the Karnataka elections has already addressed over 5 rallies.

    Karnataka elections: The Narendra Modi impact

    While the campaign has been hectic on the ground, everyone in Karnataka BJP waited for Modi's arrival as he was expected to make the difference. It is a fact that he has taken the campaign by storm and more importantly his rallies are scheduled at all key places in a bid to cover all the six regions in Karnataka.

    S Prakash, spokesperson for the BJP tells OneIndia that the entire atmosphere is favouring the BJP after Modi landed in Karnataka. He has received a huge and unprecedented response at all his rallies and this has clearly rattled the opposition.

    It is clear now that there is a huge amount of resentment towards the Siddaramaiah government and the preference of the people is the BJP. Apart from impressing the voter at large, Modi has also enthused the party workers who are going out of their way to ensure that the BJP wins in Karnataka.

    Leading psephologist, Dr. Sandeep Shastri says he is not too sure about the impact the Modi rallies would have on the ground. No doubt there has been a lot of visibility in the media, but on the ground, the impact it has had would be hard to tell. Dr. Shastri also adds that his rallies would give a lot of traction to the BJP. Their campaigns always begin when Modi comes into the picture.

    He, however, points out that the campaign has been a very negative one with attacks on the Congress, the chief minister and the party's president. While that is part of an electoral campaign, I don't think the rallies have highlighted the positives for Karnataka if the BJP were to come to power.

    This is an election about who will form or lead the government in Karnataka if the BJP comes to power. Even though Modi is a hugely popular leader in Karnataka, he will still have to convince the people about the BJP's leadership in Karnataka. This is a message that Modi will have to send out.

    Karnataka Assembly Election dates
    Date of notification April 17
    Last date to file nominations April 24
    Last date to withdraw nominations April 27
    Date of polling May 12
    Date of counting May 15

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