28 apr 2013
The Narendra Modi show comes to Bangalore today; BJP looks for some magic
Bangalore: The ruling BJP in Karnataka is in a tough spot ahead of state elections next Sunday. The party hopes one of its star campaigners, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, can pull off some magic when he campaigns in Bangalore this evening.
There were doubts whether Mr Modi would come to the aid of his party in Karnataka. It was thought his possible prime ministerial aspirations would mean he would not want to be involved with what could be a lost cause for the BJP.
After five years of turbulent rule, the BJP is on the back foot. Corruption charges saw the departure of its first chief minister, BS Yeddyurappa, and claimed the wickets of several other ministers as well – damaging the party’s image in the process. Many Yeddyurappa loyalists left the BJP and followed him to his newly-minted Karnataka Janata Party. The Congress’s good showing in recent urban body elections is another threat.
Will the presence of potential prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, brighten up the campaign?
Mr Modi’s fans among the party workers are convinced he will make a difference. “If Narendra Modi comes here, we will win every single seat in Karnataka! 100 % !”, an enthusiastic party worker said.
“Narendra Modi has become the darling of the masses in the entire country. Even the media is clamouring for Narendra Modi,” BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said.
The opposition dismissed any possible Modi effect.
“I don’t think he can cover up the legacy of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the last five years, what they have done, either in terms of corruption or maladministration,” G Parameshwar, state Congress chief, said.
There is just one week left for voting in Karnataka, and if the BJP had hoped that Mr Modi would spread the magic around, they might be disappointed that Bangalore is his only scheduled rally stop in the state.