Campaigning for by-polls to 3 Assembly seats ends

12:59 PM, Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

BY Raghavendra Bangalore: Campaigning for the August 21 Karnataka Assembly by-polls for three constituencies in which the ruling Congress has invested much prestige after its unimpressive Lok Sabha election performance, ended Tuesday evening.

The Siddaramaiah government has spared no effort mobilising men and resource to retain the Chikkodi-Sadalga seat while eyeing to wrest Shikaripura and Bellary Rural from BJP.

BJP strongman and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra is seeking election from their stronghold of Shikaripura, which his father vacated consequent to his election to Lok Sabha. Raghavendra had earlier represented Shimoga in Lok Sabha.

In Bellary Rural, Congress is giving a run for the money to BJP, whose B Sriramulu gave up the seat after his election to Lok Sabha. Sriramulu had won the seat thrice since the constituency was carved out in the delimitation exercise in 2008.

As for Chikkodi-Sadalga, the Congress is trying to retain the seat. Prakash Hukkeri, who had represented the constituency, vacated it after his election as MP from Chikkodi constituency.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his ministerial colleagues campaigned intensely to prove a political point as the ruling Congress had put up an average show in the Lok Sabha polls, winning only nine of the 28 seats, allowing BJP to walk away with a lion’s share of 17. JDS had bagged two seats.

On the BJP front, Yeddyurappa, who was appointed party National Vice-President late last week, has gone all out to ensure that Shikaripura seat is his son’s.

Twenty two candidates are in the fray. Congress has fielded N Y Gopalakrishna and BJP Obalesh in Bellary Rural. In Shikaripura, Raghavendra is challenged by H S Shantaveerappa Gowda of Congress. Chikkodi-Sadalga is witnessing a fight between Congress’ Ganesh Hukkeri and Mahantesh Kavatgimath of BJP.

JDS headed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda has not fielded candidates in all the three constituencies.

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