Mikes fall silent as campaigning ends

Mikes fall silent as campaigning ends

Mikes fall silent as campaigning ends

At dusk on Tuesday, curtains fell on an over-two-week hectic high-voltage campaigning by candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in the State.

The canvassing witnessed both the Congress and the BJP slug it out to cross the threshold of 20 seats in the April 17 elections, and the JD(S) making enough efforts to play spoilsport to the target set for themselves by the two national parties.

It has been two-and-a-half decades since any party secured more than 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state, a feat last achieved by the Congress in 1989. Both the Congress and the BJP have taken it as a prestige issue to cross the threshold. 

While it can sound the revival of the BJP in the state, it is a question of consolidating his position for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

On Tuesday, the last day for public campaigning, Siddaramaiah and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa of the BJP found themselves in Hubli, campaigning for their party candidates Vinay Kulkarni and Pralhad Joshi, respectively. Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda campaigned for himself in parts of Hassan and for party candidate Justice Chandrashekariah in Mysore.

Continuing his tirade against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Siddaramaiah claimed the Congress in the State would win at least 20 seats.

“Modi is a polarising personality. Wherever he campaigned for the BJP in the 2013 Assembly elections in the State, his party lost badly. Modi cannot influence the people of the State,” he claimed.

In another end of Hubli, Yeddyurappa showered praise on Modi. He said, “No party, including the Congress or the third front, has a leader who can match Modi”.

Yeddyurappa, who has repeatedly expressed confidence that the BJP would win 20 seats, said if a Narendra Modi-led government came to power at the Centre, it would present a separate agricultural budget.

Down south, campaigning for himself in Arasikere, Gowda said the JD(S) would give a tough fight to the BJP and the Congress, but desisted from stating the number of seats his party would win. Later, racing against time to reach Metagalli in Mysore, Gowda said, “Here is an opportunity for a Kannadiga to become prime minister. Give me the strength.”

Over the last two weeks, candidates of all the major parties sweated it out in the heat, holding padyatras, addressing rallies, using the Internet, rubbing shoulders with star campaigners, indulging in claims and counter-claims.

The Congress raked up the BJP’s “misadventures” during its five-year rule in the state, the BJP went hammer and tongs on the “scams” in the UPA-I and II governments, while the JD(S) insisted that only a third front would get the opportunity to form government at the Centre.

Aam Aadmi Party candidates utilised its anti-corruption platform to the hilt to strike a chord among the voters, especially the young brigade in urban pockets.

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