KARNATAKA

Campaigning gains momentum in Shimoga

Special Correspondent

Leaders and workers of the BJP and the Congress are taking up canvassing vigorously



Raghavendra resolves to take up comprehensive development of the constituency

Bangarappa spares no occasion to criticise the BJP Government



SHIMOGA: The tempo of campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections in Shimoga constituency is picking up fast with the leaders of the BJP and the Congress taking up canvassing vigorously.

Apart from a series of election meetings, the workers of the two parties have taken up door-to-door campaign, though the BJP appears to have established a lead as far as campaigning is concerned.

Tour

BJP candidate and elder son of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, B.Y. Raghavendra, has been on an extensive tour addressing election meetings and holding road shows in the constituency and his arch rival, Congress candidate and former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa, also follows the same pattern, though in a reduced manner.

The theme of Mr. Raghavendra’s speeches is development or the lack of it in the constituency and his “firm resolve” to ensure comprehensive development of the segment.

Different

However, the approach of Mr. Bangarappa is in contrast as he spares no occasion to criticise the BJP Government for following “unfair” poll practices instead of spelling out any specific programme.

Mr. Yeddyurappa, who is the chief campaigner for his son, has been visiting the constituency frequently to bolster the morale of the party workers.

Good response

Mr. Yeddyurappa addressed election meetings at Machenahalli, Harnahalli and Anandapuram on Tuesday and the response was encouraging.

The other leaders who accompanied him included the former Shimoga MP Ayanur Manjunath who is among the star campaigners for the BJP.

Similarly, Mr. Bangarappa has been touring though in a restricted way in view of his “frail” health condition.

He addresses very few, sparsely attended election meetings to seek support for the party.

His speeches are invariably laced with rebuke, sarcasm and ridicule to attack the Chief Minister in particular and his administration in general.

He continues to attack the Government for funding Hindu religious institutions without following any “rules or norms”.

Attack

Speaking in a similar tone, the former Minister Kagodu Thimmappa makes a blistering attack on the BJP Government for pursuing “unfair” poll practices by allegedly distributing money and liquor to woo voters.

The other leaders who accompany Mr. Bangarappa on his campaign trail are his sons — Kumar Bangarappa and Madhu Bangarappa.

Though the Congress workers are engaged in door-to-door campaigning in some pockets, its impact is far from satisfactory.

The dearth of youth is the main problem of the Congress.

Worry

The continuous exodus of its workers to the BJP is the main worry for the Congress. This seems to have eroded the morale of its workers too.

The picture in the BJP camp is upbeat with workers at all levels bubbling with enthusiasm to canvas for their candidate.

The atmosphere in its camp is expected to be buoyant as election day approaches.

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