Bengaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will fly in some 40 “star campaigners” to poll-bound Karnataka including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a host of Union Ministers and senior leaders to campaign for the party’s success in the ensuing May 12 assembly elections.
The visiting key campaigners were named in a letter written by the state unit BJP general secretary and party’s Lok Sabha lawmaker from Karnataka Shobha Karandlaje to the state Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar.
Besides Modi and BJP national President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs), Smriti Irani (Information and Broadcasting), Nirmala Sitharaman (Defence), Ravi Shankar Prasad (Law and Justice), Piyush Goyal (Railways) and party’s Lok Sabha MP and veteran actress Hema Malini will soon be in the southern state.
“The Prime Minister is expected to visit the state tentatively from May 1 and is expected to hold at least 10-12 rallies across the state before the election,” BJP state spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS here.
Modi is expected to visit each of the state’s four regions — coastal, north, central and south — besides Bengaluru and Mysuru, addressing two-to-three rallies a day till May 10.
The exact dates of the BJP leaders’ visits to the state were yet to be finalised, the spokesperson added.
Some of the other campaigners include party’s women’s wing national in-charge D. Purandareswari, former Union Minister for External Affairs S.M. Krishna, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan among others.
The party’s chief ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa, Union Ministers from the state Ananth Kumar (Chemicals and Fertilisers), Prakash Javadekar (Human Resource Development) and Anantkumar Hegde (Skill Development) will also be taking part in the campaigning activities.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, also one of the party’s campaigners, on Monday visited the state’s coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has visited the state at least four times so far, to address rallies in Hubballi, Bengaluru, Davanagere and Mangaluru.
On April 21, MP Chief Minister Chouhan visited the state’s Chitradurga district, about 250km north from here, to campaign along with the BJP Lok Sabha lawmaker B. Sreeramulu, who is contesting the assembly elections from Molakamuru (reserved) seat in the district.
Polling will be held in a single phase on May 12 for 224 assembly seats, including 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes. Votes will be counted on May 15.
Tuesday is the last date for filing nominations. Scrutiny will be done on April 25 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 27.