Sonia Gandhi on poll mode in Karnataka


Mysore: The Congress, hoping to score big in Karnataka in the coming Lok Sabha elections, is going to have its first big ticket campaigner arriving here with AICC chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, visiting the state on September 30, and addressing a public function in Mandya, the seat it won from under the nose of the powerful JD(S).
Given the Congress wave in the recent assembly polls, the party has set its sights on winning at least 22 of the 28 parliamentary seats from the state.  
Cong strategy: Save coast from Modi
Even as the BJP, armed with the Namo mantra,  is making renewed attempts to regain its lost ground in the coastal belt of the state, the Congress is preparing to counter it with a campaign of its own.
Agreeing that an anti- Modi campaign will play a major role  in the coming elections, Congress leaders say the party is hoping its appeal to the secular minded will help it counter the BJP's NaMo-centric campaign for votes in the region.
It is particularly banking on the support of the business community which is always against any communal tension as it is bad for trade.
“Businessmen realise that communal tension is bad for business. And so they will naturally keep the communal issue in mind when  voting,” says KPCC member, M A Gafoor, pointing out that minorities, particularly Muslims, provide the most business for consumer goods in the coastal belt.
But whichever way the mood of the voters swings, it is clear that the Modi factor will play a crucial role in the communally sensitive coastal belt, say observers.
While it may help the BJP to play the Hindutva card, it could also unite the minorities against the BJP and in support of the Congress, they say.That the Modi factor is already playing on the minds of the minorities here is apparent.
Says one Muslim leader, “The coastal region is already known for moral policing and communal tension created by right wing organisations. This could further increase if Modi, who is accused of watching mutely as communal riots hit Gujarat, comes to power at the Centre. If the  BJP plays the Hindutva card, all minorities and the secular minded Hindus could unite against it.” 

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