Public campaign ends, stage set for polling in 14 constituencies in Karnataka

Karnataka is a key state for BJP which has set an ambitious target of winning over 370 seats across the country.
PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah campaigned extensively for BJP-JDS candidates in the state.
PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah campaigned extensively for BJP-JDS candidates in the state. (Photo | EPS)

BENGALURU: The high-voltage public campaigning in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, including those in Bengaluru, ended on Wednesday evening.

Polling in these constituencies will be held on Friday. Candidates and their supporters have resorted to a door-to-door campaign in their constituencies. Before the mikes fell silent, campaigning in south and coastal regions reached a crescendo with top leaders from all three political parties going the whole hog to woo voters.

Karnataka is a key state for BJP which has set an ambitious target of winning over 370 seats across the country. Doing an encore of the 2019 Lok Sabha performance of winning 25 seats is a Herculean task. This time, the party is contesting 25 seats while giving three to its alliance partner JDS. This election is crucial for the future of JDS. Its top leader HD Kumaraswamy is contesting from the Vokkaliga heartland of Mandya, while party supremo HD Deve Gowda’s grandson Prajwal Revanna is seeking reelection from Hassan.

PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah campaigned extensively for BJP-JDS candidates in the state. For the first time, Modi and Gowda jointly addressed election rallies.

The BJP-JDS candidates are banking heavily on the Modi factor, the Centre’s achievements, and a promise of providing a stable government.

BJP targets Congress over ‘failure’ to help farmers

The BJP targeted Congress and its state government over law and order issues, minority appeasement, and the “failure” to provide relief to farmers in distress due to drought.

For Congress too, which is making all efforts for its revival at the national level, Karnataka is a key state. Stupendous victory in the 2023 Assembly polls gave the much-needed confidence to the party. The 14 seats that are going to polls on Friday include the home-turfs of CM Siddaramaiah and DCM DK Shivakumar.

The party largely depends on the duo to continue its winning streak in AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge’s home state. The CM and DCM campaigned extensively in the 14 constituencies. While Kharge addressed many rallies, Congress’ star campaigner Rahul Gandhi addressed only two rallies -- in Kolar and Mandya.

The Congress campaign centred around the guarantee schemes implemented by the state government, the guarantees promised at the national level, and attacking the NDA government over the delay in releasing funds to tackle drought, besides the alleged disparity in tax devolution.

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