As election campaigns across Karnataka draw to a close, both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are fine-tuning their last-minute strategies.
The BJP is banking heavily on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to add glitter to its campaign while the Congress is setting up teams to douse the dissidence and motivate grass-root level workers.
Due to a variety of factors, grass-root level workers of both the BJP and the Congress are demoralised.
The BJP leadership is trying to convey to the grass-root workers, who have largely stayed away from its campaign, that the party still has a shot of coming back to power.
BJP leaders claim that the dissidence in the Congress and Modi batting for the party has boosted its chances. The party was particular about Modi visiting Mangalore to encourage grass-roots workers.
The Congress has been telling its workers, “This is our best chance and once we form the government, all issues can be resolved”.
Congress’s state unit chief Parameshwar has made a desperate plea to all grass-root level workers to remain united and see the party through.
Latest pre-poll surveys show that the Congress is expected to win only 90 seats, a remarkable drop from the earlier estimate of 130 seats.
The Congress has formed a core team of strategists which is visiting all constituencies plagued by dissidence.
The party is also in talks with nearly 40 rebel candidates and is trying to address their grievances.
The BJP is hopeful about winning between 70 and 80 seats
Apart from Mangalore, the BJP has identified Hubli, Gadag, Gulbarga, Bangalore and Shimoga as the problem areas and has put in all its resources in these constituencies.