High-voltage campaigning for Hebbal ends

Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy skip road show; parties pause to pay tribute to Siachen soldier Koppad

High-voltage campaigning for Hebbal ends

At dusk on Thursday, curtains came down on a hectic, high-voltage campaigning for the Hebbal assembly constituency byelections.

The last 10 days witnessed leaders from the Congress,  BJP and JD(S) slugging it out across the constituency canvassing for their candidates. Elections will be held on February 13. The byelection was necessiated following the death of sitting BJP MLA R Jagadish Kumar last November.

The Congress on Thursday conducted an aggressive campaign with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president G Parameshwara and other senior ministers touring many parts of the constituency seeking support for party candidate C K Abdul Rahaman Sharief.

The Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues conducted roadshows in an open jeep on the main thoroughfares of V Nagenahalli (near Hebbal flyover), Manorayanapalya, Gangenahalli and R T Nagar. Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara and Sharief also addressed small gatherings at some traffic junctions.

When news about the death of Lance Naik Hanmanthappa Koppad broke out, Siddaramaiah, along with his ministerial colleagues and Congress leaders, stopped the campaign and paid respects to the brave soldier by observing a two-minute silence.

On its part, the BJP had two of its Union Ministers D V Sadananda Gowda and Venkaiah Naidu participating in a road show led by a mobike rally starting from Gaddalahalli bus stand to Sanjaynagar Main Road.

The two leaders along with party candidate Y A Narayanaswamy stood in an open jeep and waved at people, urging them to press the lotus symbol on election day. In another part of the constituency,  JD(S) candidate Ismail Shariff campaigned alongside City MLA K Gopalaiah.

Party leaders H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy cancelled their roadshows in the constituency at the last minute. Party sources said Kumaraswamy was in Mysuru while Gowda was in Devadurga to campaign for the party candidate.

However, after learning about the death of Koppad, Gowda, cancelled campaigning and returned to Bengaluru. Left to themselves, Shariff, Gopalaiah and local leaders took out a road show through R T Nagar, Ganganagar and Bhoopsandra.

Party workers also took out a mobike rally from V Nagenahalli to Bellary Road. Despite Gopalaiah appealing to them to wear helmets and campaign, the workers were in no mood to listen to him. In his address, Siddaramaiah said JD(S) had no ideology and it was impossible for the party to win.

“The BJP is also dreaming of coming to power. I can swear on my father that the BJP will not come to power,” Siddaramaiah said.

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