Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a roadshow in Bengaluru on Saturday, May 6, ahead of the Karnataka elections on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
Bengaluru City, the Information Technology (IT) capital of India, on Saturday witnessed a spectacular roadshow by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as lakhs of people turned up all along the 26 km route to greet and cheer the People’s Prime Minister from close quarters.
Kannadigas have spoken! They've shown their unwavering support for PM @narendramodi Ji and the BJP in the rallies across the state. The party's victory in the upcoming elections is certain!@BJP4Karnataka https://t.co/fCewBKsliF
— Gopal Krishna Agarwal (@gopalkagarwal) May 6, 2023
Men, women and children, dressed up as if for a festive occasion, lined up hours before the roadshow began at vantage points in Jayaprakash Nagar, Jayanagar, South End Circle, Madhavarao Circle, Ramakrishna Ashram, Uma theatre signal, Mysore road, Toll gate signal, Govindarajnagar, Magadi road junction, Shankar Mutt circle, Malleshwaram and Sampige road to have a glimpse of the Prime Minister.
Dressed in a badam colour shirt, a blue waist coat and a signature orange cap, PM Modi riding atop an orange-hued specially-built car, waved enthusiastically at the crowd which raised slogans such as ‘Modi, Modi….,’ ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’, ‘Jai Bajrangbali’ and showered petals on his cavalcade. The prime minister too responded by showering flowers gathered on the vehicle back at the crowd. Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya and Bengaluru Central MP, PC Mohan accompanied the Prime Minister.
Decked up in saffron hues
The entire route was decked up with saffron hues as barricades were covered in orange cloth and the BJP and Bajrang Dal flags were carried by the party workers and supporters. Even ordinary people who had come to the rally were seen wearing saffron shawls and caps to show their love and support to the Prime Minister.
As a reaction to the Congress party’s decision to ban the Bajrang Dal along with the Islamic terror outfit, PFI, there were many people seen wearing shirts with Hanuman pictures and children with Hanuman masks. The mood was clearly against the the Congress party.
The Congress party tried to play a spoilsport by approaching the Karnataka High Court to disallow the roadshow citing ‘road blocks’ and ‘inconvenience’ to the public. But, the court declined to give a stay, saying it was part of the democratic process to reach out to the people.
Union minister from Karnataka Shobha Karandlaje alleged that having failed to stop the PM’s roadshow, the Congress party had planned to hire dozens of ambulances to take them along the route with blaring siren just to disrupt the road show and accuse of the prime minister of hampering the movement of the ‘patients.’ But, the moment the police stepped in and stopped some ambulances without any patients, the mischievous plan was given up.
As the road show coincided with the NEET exam being taken by thousands of students at centres across the city, the prime minister personally intervened to cut short the road show from eight hours to about three hours. He also advised the organisers to spread out the rally on Saturday and Sunday to ensure least inconvenience to the office-going employees of IT and other companies and the general public.
Waking up the laid-back City
The Prime Minister’s long roadshow covering about18 Assembly constituencies on Saturday and four more on Sunday is intended to enthuse the laid-back Bangaloreans to come out and vote in large numbers on the polling day on May 10. The BJP is clearly targeting Bangalore Urban and Rural areas which together account for 32 seats. In 2018, BJP had managed to win only 12 seats as against 15 by the Congress as the voting percentage hovered around 52 per cent.
BJP has worked on a clear plan to take the voting percentage to 65 per cent and increase its tally to around 26 seats in order to attain a simple majority of 113 seats. In the last election, BJP had stopped short at 104 seats and had to pay a heavy price as Congress and JD(S) joined together in an ‘unholy alliance’ to rule and ruin the state for 14 months, before it collapsed due to the weight of its contradictions.
Later addressing a huge rally at Badami in north Karnataka, Prime Minister Modi said the Congress leaders had started abusing him as he had put an end to their “corrupt ways” by bringing Jan Dhan Aadhar Mobile (JAM) and sending money directly to people’s accounts.
He said only a double-engine government could ensure that Karnataka would become the Number 1 state in the country. “The Congress is doing vote bank politics, threatening to stop BJP’s welfare schemes and they are abusing OBC and Lingayat communities and even me personally,” he added.
‘Trishul’ hits the Congress
The prime minister said BJP’s ‘Trishul’ with Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile had “destroyed the old habits of the Congress party which resorted to systematic looting of the people as revealed by late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who had admitted that only 15 paise out of Re 1 sent by the Centre reached the hands of the people. “In the last nine years, Rs 29 lakh crore has been transferred to the medium and small accounts. As per Rajiv Gandhi’s calculations, Rs 24 lakh crore would have gone into the hands of Congress netas only. Today, people get impatient if they lose Rs 24,000. Here, I have given Congress a loss of Rs 24 lakh crore. So, isn’t it obvious that they would abuse me?” he asked.
He said BJP was receiving tremendous response from the people of Karnataka and it seemed that the people themselves were fighting the election for BJP this time. This clearly shows that a double-engine government will be formed in the state. Later, the prime minister proceeded to Haveri to address another public rally at chief minister Basavaraj Bommai’s constituency.