Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will address a rally in Kolar in Karnataka on April 9 in an indication of the Congress seeking to make a political issue of his disqualification from Lok Sabha with the Congress leader also slated to visit Wayanad on April 11.
Rahul Gandhi will be in poll-bound Karnataka on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also slated to visit the state.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified following his conviction by a Surat court in a criminal defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remarks made in Kolar in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
“Sh. @RahulGandhi will be in Kolar on 9th April and address the Jai Bharat Mega Rally there. On 11th April, he will visit Wayanad. He is the voice of the people, you can never silence him. This voice will only get louder and stronger,” Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said in a tweet.
Rahul Gandhi was elected to Lok Sabha in 2019 from Wayand in Kerala. The party has said that it will challenge the Surat court verdict in a higher court.
Campaigning is gathering pace in Karnataka ahead of the assembly polls due on May 10.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will get a clear majority in the upcoming Assembly elections.
The chief minister was speaking to the media at the Ghati temple in Doddaballapur taluk of Bengaluru Rural district today.
He said BJP is in the process of deciding its candidates for the election and they will be declared soon.
Referring to Congress leader Siddaramaiah, the Chief Minister said they “rejected him in 2018 and will reject him this time too. We will definitely give strong competition in Varuna,” he said.
“People are of the opinion that Vijayendra should contest. Yediyurappa will finally take a decision,” he added.
BJP leader BS Yediyurappa, who is also a former Chief Minister, meanwhile ruled out the possibility of his son BY Vijayendra contesting from the Varuna constituency and said that he will only contest from Shikaripura.
“There is no question of BY Vijayendra going to contest from Varuna. I will tell high command that Vijayendra will contest from my seat Shikaripura,” Yediyurappa told the media.
Me Yediyurappa is MLA from Shikaripura.
The former Chief Minister had said on Thursday that BJP will get an absolute majority in the Karnataka assembly elections. He also accused Congress of making false allegations calling them “corrupt”.
“Under PM Modi’s leadership, we’ll come back to power. Congress is corrupt and that’s why they’re making false allegations such as of 40 pc commission, these things will be kept away by voters,” he had said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to visit Karnataka on April 9 to inaugurate an event on the completion of 50 years of the Tiger Project.
During the visit, the Prime Minister is also expected to go on a safari tour in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, sources said.
They said PM Modi will inaugurate three-day mega event in Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts on the occasion of the completion of 50 years of the Tiger Project.
He is likely to hold a meeting with BJP workers and officials, the sources said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will also visit poll-bound Karnataka this weekend. Apart from Bengaluru, he will visit Hubbali and Belagavi districts.
Jaishankar will address women entrepreneurs on how India became a ‘Vishwaguru’ on Saturday.
The Laghu Udyog Bharathi has planned another programme of interaction with entrepreneurs and businessmen. The minister will also address the Interaction with Entrepreneurs Organizations (Startups) on “India’s New Standing in World order & Perspective”.
He will also attend events on Sunday.
“The kind of appeal that he (Jaishankar) has amongst the youth and the educated class is phenomenal. That is why there is a big demand for his campaign in Karnataka,” a BJP MP from Karnataka told ANI.
As part of its election efforts, Congress party has launched the “first-time youth voters” campaign. “Celebrate your Vote” is the campaign theme of the programme.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday released its second list of 60 candidates for the Karnataka polls.
Party leaders said they have given representation to all sections of society in choosing candidates.
The party had on Wednesday released ‘Karnataka guarantees’ as part of its election preparations in the state.
The guarantees include zero corruption, 300 units of free electricity, guaranteed employment for the youth and employment allowance of Rs 3000 per month until they get a job, farmers’ loan waiver, minimum support price, free quality education, free quality health care, permanent employment for contract workers.
AAP has fielded Rajesh GS from Varuna constituency, which is also being contested by Congress leader Siddaramaiah.
AAP has so far declared 140 candidates for the assembly polls. The state has 224 assembly seats.
Political parties are gearing up preparation for assembly polls in Karnataka. The results of assembly polls will be declared on May 13.
Karnataka assembly polls are significant for national ambitions of BJP and Congress for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Janata Dal-Securlar leaders have said that the people will reject the national parties in the assembly polls.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)