By Santosh Kumar Pathak
New Delhi, Mar 19 (IANS): BJP's thumping victory in the 2022 Gujarat Assembly polls has enthused the party leaders and cadres in Karnataka, which goes to polls in next five months.
The saffron party in the state seems to be banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's magic to do wonders in the upcoming polls and is confident that under the leadership of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the BJP will again form the government in the state.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was instrumental in bringing the BJP government to power in the state, recently quit electoral politics and is now a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board, party's highest decision-making body.
The saffron party, which claims to have set all political equations right, is busy preparing for the upcoming state elections and is set to target 'Mission 150'.
With the BJP refuting rumours of infighting within the party, the fissures within the party's state level are quite visible. The BJP, which is running the government in the state, wants to ensure securing a thumping majority in the coming state polls just like in 2018 Assembly polls.
The BJP is banking on the popularity of its star campaigner -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It aims at returning to power in Karnataka for a second time riding on the Modi wave.
Prime Minister Modi is constantly visiting the state and inaugurating infrastructure projects worth crores of rupees.
Modi inaugurated the India Energy Week 2023 by visiting Bengaluru on February 6 and flagged off the Green Mobility rally to spread awareness among people about use of green fuel. He also launched uniforms under Indian Oil's 'Unbottled' initiative, each uniform to support recycling of around 28 used PET bottles.
Taking another step towards "self-reliance" in the defence sector, he dedicated the HAL Helicopter Factory at Tumakuru to the nation whose foundation stone was also laid by him in 2016. Later, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation stones for Tumakuru Industrial Township and two Jal Jeevan Mission projects in Tumakuru.
On February 13, PM again visited Karnataka where he inaugurated the 14th Aero India 2023 at the Air Force Station in Yelahanka, Bengaluru. Giving a message to the youth of Karnataka through this programme, Modi said that Karnataka is the centre of India's technological progress and this will open up new possibilities for the youth in the aviation sector.
He urged the youth of the state to apply their technological expertise in the defence sector to strengthen the country.
Modi visited Karnataka for the third time on February 27 where he inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for various development projects worth more than Rs 3,600 crore in Shivamogga.
Along with the inauguration of the airport at Shivamogga, he also laid the foundation stone for two railway projects.
On the other hand, Modi released the 13th installment of about Rs 16,000 crore under PM-Kisan Scheme in Belagavi and laid the foundation stone of several development projects worth more than Rs 2,700 crore in Belagavi and also dedicated them to the nation.
The Prime Minister also dedicated the redeveloped Belagavi Railway Station building to the country. In Belagavi, he laid the foundation stone of six multi-village projects under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
During his visit on March 12 for the fourth time during the last one-and-a-half months, PM Modi dedicated the Bengaluru-Mysore Expressway in Mandya, laid the foundation stone of the Mysuru-Kushalnagar four-lane highway and later dedicated the IIT Dharwad in Hubli-Dharwad to the nation in different events during the tour.
He inaugurated the longest railway platform -- Shri Siddharoodha Swamiji Hubli station and redeveloped Hosapete station.
Besides, he inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various projects of Hubli-Dharwad Smart City while laying the foundation stone of Dharwad Multi-Village Water Supply Scheme. During this visit, he also gifted various other projects to the people of Mandya and Hubli-Dharwad.
Sources have said that Prime Minister Modi may visit Karnataka twice next week. The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Karnataka on March 25 to participate in the concluding programme of the Vijay Sankalp Yatra being held by the BJP in the state.
During his visit to Karnataka on March 25, the Prime Minister will address a massive rally to urge people to vote in large numbers.
According to sources, Modi may also visit Karnataka for an official programme on March 22. The programme of his tour is currently being finalised, possibility of revision of the dates cannot be ruled out.
The Election Commission may announce the dates for the Karnataka Assembly elections in the last week of March.
Even after the official announcement of the election, the BJP has planned to field its entire team of senior leaders, central ministers and chief ministers of several states for the election campaign.
But, the party is banking heavily on the Modi magic to win the upcoming state elections.