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Moily uses Imran Khan's better chance of peace remark to target Modi in Chikkaballapur

Press Trust of India  |  Chikkaballapur 

There are no clear favourites this time in the high-profile constituency of Chikkaballpur that has sent former to Parliament twice and has never disappointed the barring once during the regime, keeping Moily and his rival on the edge.

Predominantly a backward and an agrarian constituency -- 58km from state capital Bengaluru -- Chikkaballapur has gone into an election mode by bringing in national issues in favour and against to the centre stage.

While local leaders slug it out to prove credentials of Modi and Rahul Gandhi, farmers are facing a drought-like situation for the 14th year in a row.

Seeing politicians indifferent to their needs, locals have decided to keep their cards close to the chest till the last moment.

"No one is bothered about the plight of the common man. By now, we do not expect politicians from any party to show any concern or sympathy towards the poor. While the rich and mighty manage to get loans and subsidies, poor like us get one square meal only after working 8-10 hours a day," farm labour told at Tubagere Hobli, reacting to the campaign of the candidate.

Chanting "Modi, Modi...", youth at a road show make it obvious that the poll on April 18 will be decided on the basis of national personalities and issues ranging from personality cults to national issues like demonetisation and Balakot strikes.

"Modiji is very popular with youth up to the age of 40 and they have created a wave larger than 2014, making the contest almost one sided," says former and BJP candidate

He says the election is being fought over the issue of Modi and BJP has promised to fulfil the long pending demand of completing over Rs 14,000 crore Yettinahole Integrated Drinking Water Project that aims to bring water to the arid region by having water from river Nethravthi lifted, diverted and transported 300 km via canals.

Gowda also says sparring between and JD(S) workers will give an edge to the BJP.

Not very impressed with the BJP's narrative, Moily tells a jam-packed crowd comprising different ages and genders how is "supporting" Modi.

"The have entered a pact on and the BJP wants to compromise with sacrifices made by our soldiers. has always been compassionate towards so as to keep the state an integral part of Why should interfere in the affairs of " he tells the audience that responded

with a thunderous applause.

The had recently said that there maybe a better chance of peace talks with if BJP wins the next

Dismissing allegation of non-implementation of the Yettinahole project, Moily says, "80 per cent work is complete and 100 km stretch of work needs to be done. The work is in progress. Those who have eyes, they can see."

"I will die only after giving water to you. In the next five years, my biggest achievement will be ensuring water to each house and every farm field," Moily added.

Apparently, the Congress has an advantage since it has five out of eight assembly segments and two with its alliance partner JD(S). The BJP, though has hold on one assembly segment, is trying hard to cash in on the Modi factor.

Though the constituency is dominated by Vokkaligas with about 4 lakh voters, it has about 5.75 lakh SC/STs, 1.2 lakh Kuruba and 1.5 lakh each of OBC and Balija voters.

The first phase of polling in 14 parliamentary constituencies out of 28 in is scheduled to be held on April 18.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 14 2019. 13:25 IST