Continuing on the Karnataka election trail on Saturday, IndianExpress.com travelled to Badami, one of the two seats from where Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s is contesting the May 12 elections. For the voters, this is the first time in decades that their constituency is hitting national headlines. Aaron Pereira made his way to this constituency in Bagalkot district to get a sense of the election mood.
Vishnu Varma, meanwhile, was in Mangaluru, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally.
For highlights from our on ground coverage yesterday (May 4) — Aaron Pereira visited the villages of Nipani and Chikkodi in Belgavi and Vishnu Varma was in Bantwal constituency — in pursuit of a lowdown on local issues and voter trends, click here.
Track PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi’s Karnataka campaign trail (Interactive graph may take some time to load)
IndianExpress.com travels to Badami and Mangalore today as part of its coverage for the May 12 elections. Follow the highlights below.
Summary of Modi's Mangalore rally
The Prime minister focused most of his speech on the achievements of the Centre and the failures of the Congress. The political killings, which occurred in Dakshina Kannada, found mention in his speech. Some of his policies like the Ujjwala Yojana, DBT and Jan Dhan Yojana which find mention in almost every speech of the prime minister was addressed here too. He rejected the analysis of the political pundits that a hung assembly will develop post the elections. He said the mandate will strongly be in favour of the BJP.
However, the party's CM candidate was mentioned just twice in the PM's speech. No other state leader was mentioned as well. There were no mentions of the achievements of the Yeddyurappa govt as well.
The Nehru Maidan, venue of the rally, was filled to capacity by BJP workers.
Earlier, as the PM started speaking, when a translator started translating his Hindi speech to Kannada, the crowds protested and shouted and eventually the translator was sent away. The PM's rally was expected to address the voters of the two districts of Dakshina Kannada and Coorg. There are a total of 10 assembly constituencies in the two districts.
Modi concludes speech
Concluding his speech, PM Modi claimed that every survey is pointing out BJP's win over the Congress and that the JD(s) would finish a distant third.
BJP CM candidate Yeddyurappa finally gets a mention in Modi's speech
"Yeddyurappa is a son of a farmer. We will always work for farmers," Modi said. He, however, didn't reflect on the achievements of the Yeddyurappa govt.
PM Modi takes on Congress over Triple Talaq bill
PM Modi slammed the Congress for stalling the triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha. He said: "We have now brought a law. In Lok sabha, we passed it because we have a majority. But in Rajya Sabha, it is stuck because of Congress. Tell me, isn't the Congress anti-women?" He also pointed out that through the Sagarmala project, his government is upgrading ports. "It will have huge benefits for a coastal town like Mangalore," he said. He added that the Centre is working on 4 fishing harbours in the state, insisting that they have done immensely for the fishermen community.
Centre has given money to Karnataka to build houses, but Siddaramaiah govt is sleeping: PM Modi
Praising the BJP-led central government's initiatives, PM Modi said 30 crore families have bank accounts now through Jan Dhan Yojana. "We have brought them financial security," he said.
Further, PM Modi reiterated his promise of providing a home for every family by 2022. "When India celebrates 75 years of Independence, every family will have a home in our country," he said, while accusing the incumbent Congress government in the state of not utilising the funds granted by the Centre for building houses.
"Centre has given money to the state to build houses, but this state government is sleeping. Does it have the right to sleep?" he asked.
On May 12, people of Karnataka will punish Siddaramaiah government: PM Modi
Modi said BJP workers have been targeted in Congress-ruled Karnataka. "Our workers are being killed. Why are they being punished," the PM asked. He said the people of the state will punish the Siddaramaiah government on May 12.
Modi intensifies attack on Congress
Targeting the Rahul Gandhi-led party, Modi said, "Congress gets frightened because Modi speaks the truth. They don't have the courage to tolerate the truth." He also criticised the Congress over dynasty politics and said "In Congress, parivar is everything. I also have a parivar - 125 crore people."
State after state, Congress is losing. Soon it will struggle like a fish out of water: PM Modi
PM Modi said the following
"People don't want dynasty in a democracy."
"State after state, Congress is losing. Soon it will struggle like a fish out of water."
"You know how after note ban, bundles of money were coming out of houses of Congress leaders. Those who have looted the poor must give it back to people."
"24x7, they criticise Modi. If I go out of India, they oppose me. If I stay in the country, they criticise me."
BJP will form full majority govt in Karnataka, says PM Modi
Political pundits predicting a hung assembly should look at this crowd. People of Karnataka will form a full majority government in favour of BJP: PM Modi
"The writing is clear on the wall. On may 15, BJP will form a government," he says
Modi addresses rally
As someone translates for PM, people shout and protest. "Translation mahi chahiye? Itna pyaar?" says Modi
PM Modi expected in next 10 mins
Right now, eight BJP candidates are in. Dakshina Kannada and two in Coorg district are speaking one after the other. PM Modi is expected in the next 10 mins.
It's time for Yeddyurappa to retire, says BJP leader in Mangalore South
Gireesh Kothari, a BJP leader in Mangalore South, thinks Yeddyurappa is old and it's time for him to retire. "We need josh wala neta like Ananth Kumar Hegde who will support Hindutva," he says, adding that this is not a fight between Congress or BJP, but a battle between Hindus and Congress.
Songs praising Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman are being sung at the rally even as the crowds wait for PM Modi to arrive
“Siddaramaiah started the caste divide during his Dec rally, says Manjunath of Lingayat community. “Since he initiated this divide, we will vote on basis of caste,” says Basappa of the Valmiki community. “We should have candidates from here itself, not outsiders,” says Manjunath pic.twitter.com/YDUb5Ob2w3— Aaron Pereira (@aaronpereira) May 5, 2018
Can't say who can win, but why not back our own local candidate? asks a local in Badami
ED Makaandar from Cholachagudda village, Badami says: “I can’t say who can win. People from other places (Siddaramaiah and Sriramulu) are coming to contest here. Why not back our own local candidate?”
Photo by Aaron Pereira
How important is the backing of the Kuruba community for Siddaramaiah's poll victory?
Shankarappa M, a Panchayat member, says Siddaramiah will win if he has the backing of the entire Kuruba community. “Why wouldn’t they want their leader to be CM? Kurubas are the largest community here. Their vote will be a key factor.”
Photo by Aaron Pereira
Ahead of PM's rally in Mangaluru
This evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a gathering in Mangaluru. It is one of the four rallies he will hold today, the third leg of his campaigning in the poll-bound state.
The Nehru Maidan in Mangalore where PM @narendramodi will address rally today evening aimed at voters of eight Assembly seats in Dakshina Kannada, massive police cover in the city @IndianExpress #LiveInKarnataka pic.twitter.com/E8WVkJYTIW— Vishnu Varma (@VishKVarma) May 5, 2018
Siddaramaiah targets BJP for communal, divisive politics in Badami
Addressing a gathering of about 800 people at the Kalidas Educational Society in Badami, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah Saturday targeted the BJP for its communal and divisive politics. He told the voters that their choice is between assured development and communal violence. Read more here. (Express Photo/Aaron Pereira)
Meanwhile, as we draw closer to the high-stake elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are campaigning in different parts of the state today. You can track LIVE updates from their rallies here.
In Badami, can CM Siddaramaiah retain Congress' hold?
Although Siddaramaiah belongs to the Kuruba community, of which a majority of the Badami constituencies voters are, the battle won’t be easy. Contesting against him is BJP’s B Sriramulu, a current Member of Parliament but someone who served in the 2008 BSY Yeddyurappa government as tourism minister. Either way, the voters are hopeful that some development will come their way.
Badami: Fact file
Here's a little about the Badami constituency — The Congress won the seat in 2013 (41.13 per cent vote share) defeating its nearest rival Mahantesh Mamadapur of the JD(S) (30.44 per cent vote share) by about 5,000 votes. Chimmanakatti Balappa Bhimappa in the incumbent MLA. The BJP came third winning 21.79 per cent of the vote share. The voter turnout was 70.71 per cent. In the 2008 Assembly election, the BJP won the seat securing 44.85 per cent of the votes while the Congress came second with 40.56 per cent vote share.
Meanwhile, here's an advertisement from the BJP camp in a local newspaper.
On the way to Badami, one thing that is striking across is the quality of bus stands. Here's one at K Chandargi, a tiny village.
Off to the land of the Chalukyas
A historic town, Badami is known for its caves that have largely been ignored thereby depriving it of its full potential as a tourism hotspot. This could change though, come May 15. With Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah contesting from here, voters are hopeful this constituency in Bagalkot district will now see development.
IndianExpress.com is in Badami and Mangalore today
As part of our ongoing coverage of the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, IndianExpress.com travels to two more constituencies to speak to local leaders and voters. In a bid to feel the pulse of the state, we bring you LIVE updates from Badami and Mangalore today. Track the latest news here through the day.