Parties step up campaigning

Staff Correspondent

The election has become a prestige issue for the Janata Dal (S), the Congress and the BJP

HASSAN: With only a day left for campaigning to the election for the Legislative Council from South Teachers' Constituency, the three major political parties, Janata Dal (Secular), Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, have taken their canvassing into top gear and are aggressively seeking votes. The election has become a prestige issue for these parties.

While the Congress wants to exhibit its strength, despite being an Opposition party, it is a friendly battle between the Janata Dal (S) and the BJP who are coalition partners in the State Government, as they have claimed.

Nearly 18,000 teacher-voters from Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Hassan and Mandya districts will elect their representative.

Apart from organising meetings at the local level, the leaders of the three parties have begun a door-to-door campaigning.

Apart from P. Sharadamma of the Janata Dal (S), C.D. Gangadhar of the Congress and M. Gurunanjaiah of the BJP and H.A. Venkatesh of the All India Progressive Janata Dal, candidates, including Marithibbe Gowda, (Congress-rebel), A. Subbanna and H.N.

Srikantaiah [Janata Dal (S)-rebel], S.S. Kumar, K.P. Mahadevaswamy, Arun Kumar and Sreenivasamurthy are in the fray as independents. Marithibbe Gowda was elected to the Council last year from the Congress.

While the former district in-charge Minister H.D. Revanna has taken charge of the party's campaign for Ms. Sharadamma in the district, his archrival and former Minister for Information B. Shivaram is in charge of the party campaign for Mr. Gangadhar. Senior BJP leader B.B. Shivappa is campaigning for Mr. Gurunanjaiah. The former Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, is canvassing for Mr. Venkatesh.

None of the senior leaders of the Congress, the Janata Dal (S) and BJP have visited the district to campaign for their party candidates showing that they have faith in their local leaders.

Among the independents, it is Mr. Marithibbe Gowda who is touring the district and seeking votes on the basis of the service he has rendered to teachers in the last six years.