Curtains come down for May 12 election to Karnataka Assembly

Bengaluru, May 10 (UNI) Curtains came down for May 12 election to 223 seats of
Karnataka Assembly at 1800 hrs today after hectic electioneering.
Polling for Jayanagara Constitutency has been countermanded following death of sitting MLA and BJP candidate B N Vijaya Kumar. He collapsed during campaigning and breathed last in a Hospital recently.

The state witnessed a highvoltage campaigning as national leaders of both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party decended and took up whirlwind tour of nook and cornor of the State in their attempt to woo the voters in favour of the candidates of their respective party.

This may be for the first time that entire Union Cabinet of NDA government took up the campaigning and it led to conclude that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has waged a war against Congress and launched mission ‘Congress Mukth Bharat’ has taken this election very seriously and during his last leg of campaigning for more than one week, after a gap of two months, he indulged in verbally attacking AICC President Rahul Gandhi, personally as well, and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah terming him as ‘Siddu Rupaiah’ alleging that he was taking 10 per cent commission for every work.

Former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who joined BJP last year and who kept himself away from the campaign launched by his party more than four months earlier to polling was seen campaigning for the party candidates at the fag end.

Mr Modi, in one of the public meeting, chidded Mr Rahul Gandhi for stating that he will become next Prime Minister if Congress wins majority in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. The AICC President took frequesnt personal attack by Mr Modi sportively and stated that “I will never attack Mr Modi as he is the Prime Minister of the Country, my grand mother and mother have taught me culture.”

However, Union Minister for Finance Arun Jately and a very few BJP Central leaders, were absent during the campaigning. Mr Jately may be absent on health factor.

Uttara Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Star campaigner for BJP, campaigned vigorously, however, following criticism by opposition he rushed back to his State as natural disaster had claimed mamy lives. But he was back within days and continued his campaign.

Besides, drawing their national leaders for the campaigning, State leaders including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha M Mallikarjun Kharge, BJP Chief Ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, among others sweated out to woo the voters.
BJP President Amit Shah, who was camping in Bengaluru, had also indulged in campaigning vigorously by touring the State. However, after the tickets were announced he avoided visiting Bellary in an attempt to give no room for opposition to criticise for giving tickets to 8 tainted candidates who included brothers of mining baron Gali Janardhanareddy.

The BJP’s campaign was restricted to road show and Public meetings and Mr Amit Shah held Press Confeence on the last day of Campaign. Mr Modi sticked to Public meetings many a time and never had press conference during his tour of the State to woo the voters. The Prime Minister, who was flying back to national capital in during his last leg campaign, launched his web and interacted with BJP women, youth workers both at State and Booth level.

On the other hand, Congress did not lag behind and its former Union Ministers including former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, among others campaigned. However, Mr Singh restricted himself to Press Conference and attacked Mr Modi’s policies, especially on demonitisation, GST, increase in prices of petrol and diesel, which he alleged that the country’s economy was pushed to slowdown.
Congress Supremo Sonia Gandhi in her only public meeting addressed at Vijaypura took to task the Prime Minister for his attack on his party and stated that “mere speeches cannot fill the stomach of the poor and cannot get medicine to the people suferring from disease. Modi is a good orator and knows how to do drama to fool the people.”

Ms Gandhi, who had collapsed during an election campaign at Varanasi, was out of campaigning for more than two years and this is for the first time she campaigned.
Irrespective of party allegiance , leaders and workers had to sweat it out during campaigning, specially in North Karnataka, Mumbai-Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka as they had to withstand scotching heat condition as it is summer season. The Prime Minister experienced the power of mercury and her was seen wiping his face very frequently during his public meetings in these parts.

Notable point was huge crowd, inspite of severe heat conditon, present at the public meetings whether it was addressed by Mr Modi, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Mr Rahul Gandhi.
Janata Dal (Secular), which is considered as a Regional party, did not lag behind in its attempt to bounce back to power. both former Prime Minister and its National President H D Devegowda and his son former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy campaigned vigorously by touring the State several times. Former UP Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati, who had fieleded 20 candiates under alliance with JDS, also campaigned.

Though there are more than 2654 candidates in the fray for 224 seats, the direct fight is between ruling Congress and BJP in many constituencies.

Congress, which had won 120 seats in 2013 election, has fielded its candidates in 222 constitutencies and has given ticket to all most all the sitting MLAs besides to some of the Minister’s wards. Congress has not fielded its candidate in temple town Melukote and it is supporting son of Farmer’s leader late K S Puttanaiah and Chief

Minister Siddaramaiah is contesting from Chamundeshwari and Badami, While BJP has fieled its candidates for all the 224 seats.

Mr Kumaraswamy is contesting from Ramanagaram and Channapatna.

NCP headed by former Union Minister Sharad Pawar is supporting Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti (MES) which has spearheaded agitation for merger of Belagavi with Maharashtra.
Shiva Sena has also fielded its candidates in 40 constituencies.