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Karnataka polls: BJP launches 'Bengaluru Rakshisi Yatra' on Holi, attacks Congress

By Anusha Ravi

Shifting its focus to Bengaluru ahead of Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched 'Bengaluru Rakshisi' (translating to Save Bengaluru)- a campaign for a safer, better city. Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde, Prakash Javdekar and a host of BJP leaders began the campaign from a temple in the Southern part of the city.

Karnataka polls: BJP launches Bengaluru Rakshisi Yatra on Holi, attacks Congress

Through its day-long campaign, the BJP intends to conduct a padayatra across the city highlighting the alleged dwindling state of law and order in the city, civic apathy in the form of garbage menace, burning lakes, drinking water issues and most importantly misgovernance under K J George as district in-charge minister.

The BJP was keen on highlighting the incident of violence involving Congress MLA N A Harris' son Mohammed Nalapad. "Let us rebuild Bengaluru brick by brick. Goonda raj must be uprooted from the city," Union Minister Prakash Javdekar said during the padayatra. The yatra is the first such Bengaluru-focused event organised by the BJP.

Karnataka polls: BJP launches Bengaluru Rakshisi Yatra on Holi, attacks Congress

With 28 assembly seats, Bengaluru is a game changer in the upcoming polls. The BJP and the Congress were neck and neck in the 2013 assembly elections with the former winning 12 and the latter beating the BJP with one additional seat. The JD(S) won three seats in the previous assembly elections.

"Drugs, tanker, real estate and sand mafias are spoiling Bengaluru. MNC's are leaving Bengaluru in search of better opportunities. Infrastructure development has come to a grinding halt in the last five years," said Arvind Limbavali, MLA from Mahadevpura constituency.

Karnataka polls: BJP launches Bengaluru Rakshisi Yatra on Holi, attacks Congress

This time around, the Congress with its pro-urban poor schemes like Indira Canteen and special budgetary allocation for Bengaluru across departments is attempting to woo voters of Bengaluru. The BJP, with its Bengaluru Rakshisi yatra, attempts to highlight alleged misgovernance by not just the Congress government in the state but also the Congress-JD(S) coalition running the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)- Bengaluru's civic body.

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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