After facing the defeat of Balwant Singh Rajput in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha Polls, BJP is now moving an extra mile to ensure victory at any cost. Both BJP and Congress have geared up for the 2018 state assembly polls.

BJP party President Amit Shah has well in advanced started the election campaign for the general elections due in 2019. He has been personally visiting every state, holding meetings with the party leaders, office bearers and intellectuals. The main agenda of these tours is to boost the confidence of the party members and listen to and solve the issues faced by the party people.

Shah is on a three-day tour to Karnataka arriving in the state on Saturday to discuss the poll strategy for the assembly polls. Coincidently Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi is also reaching the state with a few hours of difference with BJP leader. Though Shah’s was pre planned and his arrival was announced a month back, Rahul’s visit was due to change of plans in his schedule. Rahul shifted his programme to address a mass rally in Raichur, in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, from August 4 to August 13, following the death of former chief minister N Dharam Singh, who hails from the region.

A Congress office bearer said, “it is just coincidental that both Shah and our leader are coming on the same day, but it certainly heats up the tempo in the state.” He added that the political mood of the state is very heightened at the moment because of the victory of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel and the crucial role the state’s Congress unit played in ensuring the nail-biting victory. “We feel a moral victory over the BJP. And our CM Siddaramaiah has also stepped up the pace of our campaign, so we are currently on a high: he said.

While on the other hand BJP is feeling a little depressed and is expecting that Amit Shah’s visit will boost their morale once again. A BJP leader admitted that “There has been a lot of infighting and bitterness within our state unit, though all the leaders have publicly said that they are united. There is resentment over various issues and though our vistarak programme has been a success in terms of spreading our message, the feedback is that the public is unhappy with the infighting.” Shah will be holding meetings with intellectuals and public figures including Vokkaliga pontiff of the Adichunchunagiri Mutt and Sri Sri Ravishankar of the Art of Living. He is also scheduled to meet the OBC and SC/ST leaders and party workers. “We expect him to tighten the screws on our leaders and drill it into their heads the need to put up a united front against the Congress. He will also outline the strategy we are to adopt for the polls,” the BJP leader added.

Rahul Gandhi will be returning to Karnataka on August 16 to inaugurate the Siddaramaiah government’s latest populist programme, the Indira Canteen, which will serve breakfast and lunch at Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively, based on the highly successful Tamil Nadu model of Amma canteen. A Congress legislator said that the opening of the Indira Canteen will definitely boost the party’s image among the poor of Karnataka. He also told that Rahul is regularly being briefed about the preparations of the programme and will give inputs or suggestions when required.