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Battle for Karnataka: Narendra Modi’s first acid test post elevation

Battle for Karnataka: Narendra Modi’s first acid test post elevation
After cementing his place in the national team of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s first test will be the assembly elections in Karnataka. After getting inducted in the parliamentary board and with enough voices within the party projecting him as the prime ministerial candidate, Karnataka elections will be the launching pad for Modi’s Delhi dreams.

State BJP leaders are of the view that Modi’s presence in the state can ensure that the margin of defeat for the party is not too high and they are hopeful that the Gujarat chief minister will be able to swing positive votes towards the party. ‘Narendra Modi had campaigned extensively in the last assembly elections in the state and it had yielded good results.

So this time also we expect that his presence will help the party in a significant manner,’ said former chief minister of Karnataka DV Sadananda Gowda. The Vokkaligga leader was recently elevated as party vice-president.

In Karnataka, the BJP is in dire straits after being hit by scandals and corruption charges levelled against senior leaders of the party. Also, the frequent change of chief ministers has damaged the credibility of the party. ‘We are hoping the anti-incumbency vote will be cut down if Modi campaigns in the state,’ said Gowda.

Modi, this time, will also have to counter the persistent attack of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). Though his party was not able to make any significant mark in the municipality elections held recently, his sway over the Lingayat vote bank is a factor that party leaders are worried about.

What may work out for Modi is his development agenda that strikes a chord among the masses of the state. Also the Hindutva support among the middle class for the BJP was one the reasons for the party coming to power and both factors may work well for the Gujarat chief minister.
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