Campaign for Assembly elections in Karnataka ends

Fake voter identities recovered from RR Nagar constituency in Karnataka

Prime Minister said that BJP has always believed in equality and is committed to work for the development for all sections of the society.

According to a recent opinion poll by Loknit-CSDS-ABP over 61 per cent Lingayats in the state were in favour of the BJP.

In Badami, he is pitted against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

On a related note, Karnataka goes to polls on Saturday.

On days the prime minister wasn't in Karnataka, he used technology to connect with the party's cadres via his personal mobile app.

"The barbs, the ridicule and the effort to portray him [Rahul Gandhi] as a buffoon shows that Mr Modi now accepts that Mr Gandhi is a force to reckon with" said Prof Muzaffar Assadi, a political scientist and former professor of political science at the University of Mysore. "When Dalits are beaten up in Una, he keeps quiet", he said. Win or lose, the BJP has made a colossal blunder in Karnataka. True, Rahul successfully won three parliamentary elections from Rae Bareily, a traditional bastion of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh state, and was second-in-command after his mother Sonia Gandhi in the party for five years before he stepped into her shoes on December 16 last year.

The increasing personal attacks follow Congress's positive performance in Gujarat earlier this year, and are seen as an acknowledgement by the prime minister of the rising stature of his principal rival. The HD Devegowda-led Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) will contest on 201 seats.

Though Modi remained out of the electoral scene for a long time after addressing a public meeting in February, he launched a blitzkrieg on May 1, addressing over a score of rallies in his bid to wrest the key southern State, which BJP chief Amit Shah dubbed as the party's "gateway to south", from the Congress.

"Rahul Gandhi has spoken about his Prime Ministerial ambitions".

The Congress said that the video was taken in 2010, the peak of illegal iron ore mining in Ballari and surrounding districts in Karnataka. Citing a video, the Congress in its letter to the EC said: "The evidence gives rise to serious questions and allegations about certain heinous and deplorable criminal activities being indulged in by the BJP's candidate Shri". The BJP and the Congress have both raked up caste identity and tried to carve out distinct vote banks fuelling caste divisions. With all the splinter factions back with the BJP, a 2 per cent swing from what they together polled in 2013 (33 per cent) would then suffice for the BJP to get to a simple majority of 112 seats. The campaign saw Siddaramaiah mocking the rival party for "importing" North Indian leaders for the campaign and made Kannada pride a key feature of his poll strategy.

Whether rumours of a BJP-JDS understanding will see a consolidation of minority votes behind the Congress and prevent the splitting of the anti-incumbent votes between BJP and JDS remains to be seen.

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