Bengaluru: The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) in Karnataka will sound the poll bugle in the state through its “Pancharatna Ratha Yatra” on Friday from Mulbagal assembly constituency of Kolar district.
The Rath Yatra will be held till December 27. In the first phase the yatra would cover 34 assembly constituencies in six districts.
The party is reportedly trying to emerge as the kingmaker following the the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka.
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is leading the Ratha Yatra, would offer worship to goddesses Chamundeshwari in Mysuru on Friday morning before reaching Mulbagal to launch the Yatra.
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, who had pledged that he would bring JD-S to power after the upcoming elections, would inaugurate the Rath Yatra.
The leaders will also address a public convention following the inauguration.
The party is also planning to release the list of 90 candidates for the upcoming assembly elections. The party has designed eight special vehicles for the yatra. The party had postponed the yatra due to heavy rains twice.
Sources confirmed that Kumaraswamy would make “Grama Vastavya” (village stay) during the yatra.
The JD-S is hoping to be the key player by bagging 25 to 35 seats in the upcoming assembly polls.
Even as the major party leaders have moved away and joined national parties alleging family dominance and anarchy, Kumaraswamy is hoping to retain the Vokkaliga vote base in southern Karnataka.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had not got a simple majority till date in assembly elections is hoping to do well in Vokkaliga belt.
The BJP has constructed the 108-feet-tall statue of Bengaluru founded Nadaprabhu Kempegowda which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently in the premises of Bengaluru International Airport.
Kempegowda is an icon of the Vokkaliga community.
Kumaraswamy, however, had said that by installing Kempegowda’s statue, the BJP will not get votes.
The dominant Vokkaliga community has generally stood with JD-S in the elections.