BJP set for Modi show, but will it matter? (Karnataka Newsletter)

By V.S. Karnic, Bangalore, Oct 18 : The BJP's Karnataka unit is preparing to host several rallies by the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi but doubts persist over the impact these shows will have on its fortunes in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

The state unit is still smarting under the May election rout, resulting in the Congress ousting the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Several Karnataka BJP leaders have also been lobbying with the party's leadership to get back former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as they feel that Modi's campaign alone cannot brighten the party's prospects in the Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP won 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in 2009. The state unit is not confident of repeating the showing in 2014 in view of the assembly defeat and Yeddyurappa's departure to head the Karnataka Janata Party.

Modi is scheduled to address a rally in Bangalore Nov 16, his first in the state in his new avatar.

He is expected to address eight more rallies in different parts of the state by mid-January.

The state unit wants to mobilize half-a-million people for the Nov 16 rally.

The party is yet to finalize the venue as it has to be held on Bangalore's outskirts as there is no ground in the city to accommodate such a huge number.

At a meeting here Wednesday, various venues were considered, state unit president Pralhad Joshi said.

The BJP plans to charge Rs.10 each from people wanting to attend the rally. Registration will be done by month-end across the state. There will be online registration facility also, Joshi said.

The BJP protests demanding the sacking of mining baron Santosh Lad from the council of ministers has fizzled out. Santosh Lad is the information minister. He has denied the charges.

Thursday's arrest of BJP lawmaker Anand Singh by the Central Bureau of Investigation over charges of illegal export of iron ore will make it difficult for the party to again agitate for Santosh Lad's removal.

(V.S. Karnic can be contacted at vs.karnic@ians.in)

--IANS (Posted on 18-10-2013)

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