Bengaluru, May 1: Karnataka has suddenly become the 'connoisseur' of all eyes, at least politically. There is an awful lot at stake for several national and regional leaders in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections 2018.
The media (mainstream) hype surrounding the elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly on May 12 is a proof that big names, big money are currently driving every aspect of life in the otherwise non-newsy (again from the point of view of national media) southern state.
Welcome to Karnataka where the Assembly election results on May 15 will definitely make or break many political careers. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, incumbent Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah to former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa, all are hoping that everything goes off well for them in the elections to redeem their political careers.
Of course, for Rahul and Yeddyurappa, it is perhaps the last election to prove their political relevance in the future, although both are on the opposite sides of the aisle. Similarly, for Modi and Siddaramaiah, who are adversaries in the upcoming polls, losing is not an option.
Siddaramaiah is facing anti-incumbency wave, and the fact has been well-acknowledged by the Congress itself by asking the incumbent CM to contest elections from two constituencies-- Chamundeshwari and Badami. Do we need to say anything more?
Coming to PM Modi, the BJP's superstar campaigner, whose very presence ensures the party's win in any elections, is currently facing one of the toughest phases in his almost four-year-long regime at the Centre.
His critics say "Modi wave is waning". His die-hard fans oppose such "sweeping" remarks against their "hero", but away from strobe light, they too admit that all is not well with the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre.
The BJP government is facing flak over multiple issues including lack of jobs, astronomical hike in fuel prices, rising rapes and murders of minors and lack of cash to name a few. And the buck stops with Modi.
PM Modi is trying his best to avoid accepting the faults in his government by maintaining an eerie silence over all sensitive subjects, but as they say "yeh public sab janti hain (the public in India knows everything well)".
If Modi has to restore faith in his administration, then he needs to be honest and direct with the voters. The series of public rallies to be attended by Modi in Karnataka, beginning from Tuesday, provides him with the platform to speak his "Mann ki Baat".
But the question is what will Modi speak? Will Modi again blast the Congress? Will he admit that the country has been divided into two camps, thanks to some of his BJP colleagues who never stop making communally-charged remarks? Will he promise achhe din (good days) to voters in Karnataka? On top of all these, the biggest question is whether Modi matters to Karnataka or not.