Modi to reach out to Karnataka voters

BENGALURU, Sept. 24 -- Days after noted Kannada author UR Ananthamurthy called Narendra Modi a bully and said he would not live in a country governed by him, the Karnataka BJP has decided to take the party's prime ministerial candidate to the voters' doorstep. Modi will soon start holding regular video conferences, which would cover all parts of the state.

The state BJP has been nervous for a while. The exit of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and the various charges of corruption have left it weakened. And ever since Modi's elevation, a section of social media had been buzzing with disapproval. Jnanapeeth awardee Ananthamurthy is just one of the city's intellectuals who have voiced their criticism and their comments are dominating the discourse in the state.

"Modi is a visionary and he has made it a point to reach the voter and share his thoughts and answer the doubts voters have. We are facilitating that," said former deputy chief minister R Ashoka. "We will organise this across the city and different parts of the state in phases."

The party is hoping that the interactions with intellectuals and youth would help, since they are the key decision-makers.

"Taking Modi to the common man might work. They are strategising in every possible way. How effective this will be is another thing. They, however, are considering him a catalyst in the upcoming polls," said Dr Jeevan Kumar D, professor of political science, Bengaluru University. MORE RALLIES FOR MODI CHANDIGARH: The BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi will address rallies in Punjab and J&K in December, and in Himachal Pradesh early next year. The BJP sees scope in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Chandigarh, which have a total of 34 Lok Sabha constituencies.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.