Karnataka polls: Some prominent faces skip election campaign

Karnataka polls: Some prominent faces skip election campaign

Officials arrive to hand over the EVM and VVPAT machines after the end of voting for Assembly elections, in Bengaluru on Saturday. PTI Photo

As top leaders of the Congress and the BJP battled it out for the Karnataka Assembly polls, some prominent faces were missing from the high-voltage campaigns in the run-up to the election.

Polling in the southern state took place yesterday and the results will be declared on Tuesday. Seventy percent voter turnout was recorded in the high-stakes election.

Union Minister Sushma Swaraj did not participate in the campaign perhaps due to health reasons, BJP sources said.

On the other hand, the party did not invite actor and MP Hema Malini and Union Minister Manoj Sinha to bat for it in the state, said a BJP functionary.

"We only did not invite Hema Malini and Sinha. Their presence was not very much required here," he said.

From the Congress, the party's social media in-charge and actor Ramya did not participate in the election campaign.

"We invited her repeatedly, but she did not turn up. We have no idea what prevented her from campaigning actively," a party functionary said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and AAP leaders Atishi Marlena and Gul Panag featured in the party's list of star campaigners, but they, too, did not show up.

AAP sources said Kejriwal, Sisodia and Marlena were occupied with the issue pertaining to the removal of the advisors of Delhi ministers by the Centre.

The party had no information why Panag did not take part in the election campaign, they said.

"We tried our best to bring them. We were told that they were held up with the issue relating to the dismissal of Atishi Marlena (adviser to the Delhi education minister)," sources said.

The Centre had last month cancelled the appointments of nine advisors to Delhi Ministers, saying these posts were 'not sanctioned.'

"It is also a fact that if Kejriwal had come, he would have addressed a public meeting," an AAP functionary said.