Devendra Fadnavis, Munde to woo Marathi voters for BJP candidates

Belagavi: Not content with the high-profile rallies of star campaigners like BJP national president, Amit Shah and Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, political parties in Belagavi are also inviting leaders from Maharashtra to woo voters in most of the Marathi-dominated constituencies here ahead of the elections to the state assembly.

While the BJP has invited Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Member of Parliament , Punam Mahajan and Maharashtra Rural Development Minister, Pankaja Munde, the Congress has roped in its own set of leaders from the neighbouring state to campaign in Khanapur, Nipani and Belagavi South. 

The  Maharashtra leaders , its hoped, will stem the drift of a large chunk of Marathi votes to the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti( MES). Besides fielding a Marathi face in most of the constituencies on the border, the  BJP is planning several activities with the help of Maharashtra's politicians to consolidate its position in pro-Marathi constituencies.

Vice-President of BJP Rajya Yuva Morcha, Raju Chikkanagoudar, says around a 100  top party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister Smriti Irani, and Mr Shah will also campaign  for it in Belagavi.

According to BJP sources, all the star campaigners have been warned against raising sensitive issues like the boundary dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka and stress mainly on ‘nationalism’ and ‘Hindutva’. 

But not to be left behind, the MES is also inviting MPs and MLAs from Maharashtra  to campaign for its candidates and is banking on Shiv Sena leaders as well to campaign for it in the Marathi-dominated consitutuencies, leaving the major parties worried about their prospects in Belagavi.

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