Campaigning for December 5 bypolls in Karnataka ends

Photo by DH

Campaigning for the December 5 bypolls ended on Tuesday, with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa promising a pro-farmer budget February next year. But the fulfilment of this promise depends on the BJP winning at least 6-7 out of the 15 constituencies.  

Speaking to reporters in Hubballi, Yediyurappa said, "There is a BJP wave in the state. The party will win all the 15 constituencies. The JD(S) and Congress parties should wait and watch till then."

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, who campaigned in Hunsur on Tuesday, continued attacking the disqualified MLAs, saying they lacked self-esteem. "Earlier, we saw animals being traded in local fairs. But these days, MLAs are getting traded. Yediyurappa has paid money and bought these MLAs. We want them to lose," he said.

In another part of the state, at Hoskote, Congress leader D K Shivakumar campaigned for Padmavathi Suresh, a first-time contestant. "M T B Nagaraj will not be welcomed back to the party even if he wants to," Shivakumar said. Nagaraj is one of the disqualified MLAs contesting as the BJP's candidate. 

In Bengaluru, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) directed his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a "guest" in India even as unemployment rate rose in the country. He also criticised Congress' rebel Roshan Baig, who failed to get the BJP ticket in the bypolls.

"Baig got scared of investigation in the IMA scam and jumped to BJP. His focus was not on Shivajinagar constituency, but safeguarding himself," Kumaraswamy said.

He said the regional party had not taken any decision with regard to forming a coalition. "It's premature at this juncture," Kumaraswamy said during his campaign. Later, in a tweet, he requested people to defeat the rebels, stating that the Supreme Court itself had upheld their disqualification.

The ruling BJP's narrative revolved largely around telling voters that voting for the disqualified MLAs would ensure 'stability' of the government. The Congress and the JD(S) kept up their attack on the disqualified MLAs, accusing them of "selling themselves".

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