Despite a late start to the campaign, the PM touched 21 constituencies, and the BJP ended up winning 12 of them.
New Delhi: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi entered the Karnataka election campaign on 1 May, the Congress attempted to turn it into a Modi-versus-Siddaramaiah battle. But once Rahul Gandhi asserted that he was ready to be PM in 2019, the narrative quickly took the familiar shape of Modi versus Gandhi.
But how did the two leaders’ parties fare in constituencies where they campaigned? ThePrint delved into the details to find out:
Modi’s 21 rallies
On average, Modi addressed at least three rallies for each day he spent in Karnataka, attacking dynasty politics, comments made by Gandhi, the latter’s aspirations and ‘sense of entitlement’.
Of the 21 assembly constituencies the PM touched, the BJP had won only five in 2013. But this time, it won 12, wresting six from the Congress and one from the JD(S).
This meant that Modi’s strike rate was 57.14 per cent.
“While he could have campaigned only at one venue at a time, the rallies were meant for more constituencies. At least five to seven districts were covered. This has been a traditional way to cover all constituencies. No one can address 224 constituencies together,” said a senior party leader.
Gandhi’s 25 rallies
In contrast to Modi, Gandhi had gone on the campaign trail quite early, but rally data is only available since the Election Commission announced the date for the polls, and the Model Code of Conduct came into effect. The first rally Gandhi addressed after poll announcement was on 26 April in Ankola City.
Gandhi personally addressed rallies in 25 constituencies, and the Congress won 11, making his strike rate only slightly worse than Modi’s, at 44 per cent.
However, Gandhi’s rallies could not prevent the BJP from wresting five of the Congress’s constituencies, although the Congress did win two constituencies held by the BJP. Two of the constituencies where Gandhi campaigned went to the JD(S) – one which it had won in 2013, and another that had been won by the Karnataka Makkala Paksha.
In addition, Gandhi’s mother and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi campaigned in Vijayapura (Bijapur) City, which her party lost to the BJP this time around.