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What prompted Congress to launch Sonia into the Karnataka election fray

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The entry of Sonia Gandhi into the election fray in Karnataka was a last minute decision by the Congress. Sonia addressed a rally at Vijaypura on Tuesday, her first in two years. The last minute decision was taken after it was found that Narendra Modi had seized the advantage from Siddaramaiah following his whirlwind tour of the state.

Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi was meant to be a surprise factor for the Congress. The rally she addressed on Tuesday was in a Lingayat stronghold which traditionally votes for the BJP. With Modi entering the the BJP went into top gear and this the Congress felt must be countered.

Moreover, Sonia Gandhi like Indira Gandhi has a better connect in Karnataka when compared to Rahul Gandhi. She has contested an election from Ballari and won in 1999 when she made her political debut.

In the 2013 election, the Congress had put up a good showing in the Mumbai-Karnataka region which spreads across Vijaypura, Bagalkot, Gadag, Haveri and Dharwad. The party had won 34 of the 51 seats in that election.

The Congress also relied on several surveys which suggested that the Mumbai-Karnataka region was voting in favour of the BJP. The Congress felt by launching Sonia Gandhi into the election fray especially in this region could counter some of the narrative that is in favour of the BJP.

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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