Bengaluru, April 21
The vitriol-filled campaign for 14 Lok Sabha seats that will go to the polls during the second phase in Karnataka on April 23, ended on Sunday, with top leaders of the BJP and Congress-JD(S) alliance making a last-gasp effort to sway the voters in their favour.
Though the campaign for second phase that covers northern districts was not as fierce compared to the first phase encompassing southern districts, the nationalism debate, corruption allegations, personal attacks, dynasty politics, Lingayat issue -- the electoral potboiler had it all.
The campaign for the second phase also gained momentum only after electioneering ended for the first phase, where polling was held on April 18.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi helmed the BJP’s adrenaline-charged campaign in the state, the party’s national president Amit Shah, several Union Ministers, including Nirmala Sitaraman, Smriti Irani and also state leaders, including BS Yeddyurappa are among those who campaigned extensively.
For the Congress-JD(S) combine, it was Congress president Rahul Gandhi, JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and coalition coordination committee chief Siddaramaiah who led the charge, backed also by Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Though local developmental issues were major part of the campaign, with most part of northern districts, especially Hyderabad-Karnataka region still being backward, concerns like the “turbulent” Congress-JD(S) government grappling with dissidence and Lingayt religion made headlines, with Modi himself spearheading the attack.
In 14 constituencies that will go to the polls in the second phase on April 23, BJP is contesting all the seats. The Congress and JD(S) that are facing the polls in alliance have fielded their candidates in 12 and two constituencies, respectively. A total of 237 candidates are in the field in the second phase. — PTI
Keenly watched constituencies
Gulbarga: Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress is pitted against Umesh Jadhav, who ahead of polls joined the BJP quitting Congress and as MLA
Shimogga: Former chief Minister Yeddyurappa’s son BY Raghavendra is pitted against another former chief minister S Bangarappa’s son Madhu Bangarappa
Belgaum: Here the Congress is facing dissidence with rebel MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi not campaigning for the party candidate and skipping Rahul Gandhi’s event of Friday
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