Mangaluru: With barely a week to go for the April 18 Lok Sabha election in Karnataka , no rally of Congress president , Rahul Gandhi has been scheduled for the coast, making it perhaps the first poll in recent years in which a Nehru family member has not campaigned here.
Although there were rumours of Congress leader, Priyanka Gandhi visiting Mangaluru, this doesn’t seem likely anymore, making the party campaign quite lacklustre along the coast these elections.
In previous polls either former Congress president, Sonia Gandhi or Mr Rahul Gandhi had made it a point to address the people of Mangaluru and a team of senior and young Congress leaders and film stars held roadshows here. But this time the star campaigners too are missing in Mangaluru reportedly because they are concentrating more on constituencies like Mandya, Mysuru, Tumakury and Hassan, where there is trouble among party workers of the coalition partners.
Minister U T Khader , who agreed that campaigning by the seniors would help, said efforts were on to schedule a rally by Mr Rahul Gandhi in Mangaluru. “Rahulji’s rally was scheduled for April 13, but had to be cancelled as Prime Minister too will be in the city the same day. We are trying our best to get Rahulji to visit the city a day or two later,” he added, claiming that the Congress would give the BJP a tough fight in Dakshina Kannada.
Congress candidate, Mithun Rai, too has not let the absence of star campaigners deter him, and is seen campaigning hard in the constituency. However, seeing that the BJP’s victory margin was 1.43 lakh in Dakshina Kannada the last Lok Sabha poll , Congress leaders feel campaigning by senior leaders and Mr Gandhi is important for the party to reach out to voters, who are unhappy with the BJP’s rule at the Centre and its sitting MPs, Nalin Kumar Kateel, Shobha Karandlaje and Anant Kumar Hegde.
Sadly for the party, Congress stalwarts from the region like Janardhan Poojary and Oscar Fernandes too are not involved in the campaign owing to health reasons.
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