This weekend, just ahead of elections on May 10, Bengaluru will witness not one roadshow by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as earlier planned by the BJP, but two — on Saturday as well as Sunday.
The roadshow, earlier scheduled to be held for eight hours on Saturday alone, has now been split into two parts — on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. “This is to prevent inconvenience to the general public if the rally is held for a full day,” according BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje.
Mr. Modi was supposed to take up a 36.6-km roadshow on Saturday as per the original plan, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. However, the Prime Minister is learnt to have expressed concern that blocking the routes for such a long time would affect weekend travellers. There have also been evening rains in the city over the last few days. Following this, the party postponed Saturday evening’s programme to Sunday morning, now titled “Namma Bengaluru, Namma Hemme” (Our Bengaluru, our pride).
While Saturday’s roadshow will start from Kempe Gowda’s statue near New Thippasandra and conclude at the war memorial on Brigade Road, Sunday’s roadshow will commence from the war memorial on Brigade Road and end near the Sankey Tank in Malleswaram constituency. The two-day roadshows will cover 17 of the 28 Assembly constituencies in Bengaluru city.
Meanwhile, Mr. Modi will have a night halt in Bengaluru on Friday after addressing public conventions in Ballari and Tumakuru Rural area. After taking part in the roadshow in Bengaluru on Saturday, he will address conventions in Badami and Haveri, before returning to Bengaluru for night halt.
On Sunday too, Mr. Modi will address public conventions in Shivamogga and Nanjangud after completing the Bengaluru roadshow.
Puja at Nanjangud
Mr. Modi will conclude his campaign in Karnataka, after having addressed 18 public conventions and holding five roadshows, by offering a puja to Lord Srikanteshwara at the Nanjangud temple on Sunday, according to BJP MLC Keshavprasad who is coordinating the Prime Minister’s rallies.
“With this, the party is trying to link Uttar Kashi (Varanasi) with Dakshina Kashi (Nanjangud) as the Prime Minister represents Varanasi in the Lok Sabha,” Mr. Keshavprasad told The Hindu. In all, the Prime Minister would have spent 15 days in the poll-bound State from January 14 to May 7.
Meanwhile, the BJP is turning the public convention being addressed by Mr. Modi in Badami on Saturday into a women-centric one as Badami houses the famous Banashankari temple that celebrates the woman deity. “We are trying to ensure participation of 60,000 to 70,000 women in this convention,” Mr. Keshavprasad said.