Mangaluru

Campaigning picks up

Ashok Pujari going around seeking votes and notes in Gokak on Monday.

Ashok Pujari going around seeking votes and notes in Gokak on Monday.  

Ashok Pujari seeks a vote and a note in Gokak

As the campaign for the three seats that face bypolls picked up, there were colourful scenes in the villages of Belagavi district.

Gokak, the happening place this campaign, had the most interesting scenes. Ashok Pujari, Janata Dal(S) candidate, began his day with a Jolige (a saffron colour bag that monks use to seek alms) and went door-to-door seeking votes.

His supporters raised slogans such as Bhavati Mata Bhiksham Dehi as he fell at the feet of the voters and requested them to give him a vote and one note. “I don’t want to fight the bypolls on money raised through dubious means. I want to raise money from the people and fight the elections for them,” he said.

In front of houses whose residents were known to him, he said that he had been defeated by the Jarkiholi brothers three times in the past and he had lost all his money and assets. In a few places, when he began describing his fight against the Jarkiholi Sahukars, he broke into tears. Some women, who were listening to him, also began to cry.

He told journalists that he was not willing to fight the bypolls. “The people of Gokak forced me to contest, to remove the feudal rule of the Sahukar [Jarkiholi] family,” he said.

At a rally, he said that even after 70 years of Independence, some areas of Gokak were yet to get electricity. The MLA has deliberately stopped these people from getting power supply, he said.

He rubbished Ramesh Jarkiholi’s claim that he had resigned from his Assembly membership due to the neglect he faced in the party. “This is not true. He resigned as he did not get the Water Resources portfolio. He has resigned for power and money. Some forces tried to buy me out of the contest. Even Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa tried to put pressure on me to withdraw. But I did not budge,” he said at the rally. He said that he would like to caution Mr. Yediyurappa against the Jarkiholi brothers. “They have betrayed other parties for power and they could betray you [Mr. Yediyurappa] too,” he said.

In Athani, Lakshmi Hebbalkar cautioned against the predictions of doom being made by BJP leader Ramesh Jarkiholi. Reacting to his statement that he could empty the State Congress if he wished to, she recited the story of demon Bhasmasura and said that those who speak ill of others could end up facing difficult situations themselves. She chided BJP candidate Mahesh Kumthalli for betraying the Congress and joining the ruling party for power. She asked the people to teach a lesson to defectors and opportunistic politicians.

In Kagwad, Congress candidate Raju Kage continued his tirade against BJP’s Shrimant Patil saying that he had defaulted on sugarcane arrears.

“He has amassed great wealth by not paying money to the farmers who deserve it. Farmers should defeat him to teach a lesson to other sugar factory owners,’’ he said at a rally in Kagwad.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:41:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/campaigning-picks-up/article30080506.ece

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