Rahul Gandhi to address 2 public meetings in Karnataka tomorrow


PTI, Apr 16, 2024, 7:28 PM IST

Bengaluru: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be in party-governed Karnataka on Wednesday to campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, during which he will address public meetings in Mandya and Kolar.

It is his first visit to the state after the poll schedule was announced a month ago. Interestingly, the Congress is facing JD(S), which is BJP’s ally, in both seats.

While it will be a direct contest between JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy and Congress’ Venkataramane Gowda, popularly known as ‘Star Chandru’ in Mandya, the fight is between Congress’ K V Gowtham and JD(S)’ M Mallesh Babu in Kolar.

The Congress had secured only one seat in the 2019 general elections in Karnataka, which has a total of 28 constituencies. The BJP had bagged 25 while an independent candidate backed by the party had also emerged victorious. JD(S) which fought the elections in alliance with the Congress then, won one seat.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said the party will win 15 to 20 seats in the coming elections in the state.

“Rahul Gandhi is coming to Mandya and Kolar tomorrow. He is landing in the afternoon (in Bengaluru), he will directly go to Mandya and from there he will go to Kolar. Then he will come to Bengaluru from where he is scheduled to take a flight back to Delhi,” Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said.

Asked whether party leader Priyanka Gandhi will be coming to campaign, Shivakumar, also the state Congress chief, said, ‘dates have to be taken, timing has to be adjusted, time is very short. She has pressure from other states too. We have requested her to come for one day, let’s see.’

According to Congress sources, Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to land in Bengaluru around 1.20 pm from where he will go to Mandya by a chopper and address a poll rally at around 2:10 pm. He will then fly to Kolar to address a public meeting at around 4 pm.

Both Mandya and Kolar are going to polls in the first of the two-phase elections in Karnataka.

While 14 segments in the southern part of the state will see polling on April 26, the second phase of voting in the northern districts will be held on May seven.

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