Congress's Rahul Gandhi will begin his Karnataka campaign next month for the state elections due on May 10. In what is seen as a mark of defiance, the April 5 rally will be held in Kolar -- the place where Mr Gandhi made the comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname that led to his two-year jail term and disqualification from parliament.
"Rahul Gandhi will return to Kolar and begin his Satyameva Jayate Rally. We had requested him to begin the election yatra from here -- where he had made this statement, and the BJP condemned his statement... he will begin his mega rally from here," said state party chief DK Shivakumar.
At a rally in Kolar in the run-up to the 2019 elections, Mr Gandhi had said, "How come all thieves have the common surname Modi" in an apparent dig at the Prime Minister with a reference to fugitive businessmen Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi.
But it was seen by the BJP as an insult to Other Backward Classes and Purnesh Modi, a party leader from Gujarat, had filed a case.
Mr Gandhi has refused to apologise for his comment. On Friday, he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha, leading to a huge opposition outcry.
Leaders from 18 opposition parties have slammed the government -- a development the Congress sees as a "silver lining" -- a catalyst to unify the opposition ahead of next year's general election.
Earlier today, the Election Commission announced the poll date for Karnataka where the ruling BJP is hoping for a second straight term in power.
The Congress, which formed government in Karnataka in 2018 with HD Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular, found itself out of power a year later. The alliance government collapsed with the desertion of a number of MLAs. The two parties had accused the BJP of bringing down the government.
This time, the Congress is contesting solo. Asked if the party will again have a post-poll alliance with Mr Kumaraswamy's JDS in case of a hung assembly, DK Shivakumar told NDTV, "There is no question of hung assembly. There will be a single largest party".
The sitting MLA of Kolar is K Srinivasa Gowda, a leader of Mr Kumaraswamy's party. Asked if senior party leader Siddaramaiah will contest from Kolar as his second constituency, Mr Shivakumar said the former Chief Minister has applied for only one constituency. The second constituency may be decided by the party's Election Committee, he added.