Political bigwigs take whirlwind tour of three segments
The politically-charged atmosphere in three Assembly constituencies going to bypolls on August 21 mellowed down with the public campaigning coming to a close on Tuesday.
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are main rivals in all the three constituencies of Bellary (ST), Chikkodi-Sadalga and Shikaripur. Political bigwigs of both parties, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, M. Mallikarjun Kharge and G. Parameshwara of the Congress and D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Ananth Kumar and Jagadish Shettar of the BJP, undertook a whirlwind tour of the constituencies.
Leaders from both parties went all out taking digs at each other during the campaigning. N.Y. Gopalakrishna (Congress) and Oblesh (BJP), a close confidant of BJP leader B. Sriramulu, are pitted against each other in the Bellary (ST) constituency.
In Shimoga, political leaders did some brisk campaigning in the agricultural fields in Shikaripur Assembly constituency. Paddy and arecanut fields emerged as the new space for electioneering in this Malnad region.
In a bid to reach out to voters, the former Minister M.P. Renukacharya and the former MLA Belur Gopalakrishna, who were campaigning for BJP candidate B.Y. Raghavendra visited the agricultural fields. They interacted with farmers and involved themselves in paddy field and transplanting works.
Congress candidate H.S. Shantaveerappa Gowda was not far behind in visiting the farmers at their ginger plots in Esur, Arashinagere and surrounding places. Though the formal campaigning ended on Tuesday evening, the leaders have decided to continue their door-to-door visits on Wednesday.
The scene was no different in Chikkodi-Sadalga segment in Belgaum. BJP’s Mahantesh Mallikarjun Kavatagimath has been making last-ditch efforts to boost his prospects even as he is engaged in a ‘war’ with Ganesh Hukkeri, son of Prakash B. Hukkeri, who was elected to the Lok Sabha recently.
The Returning Officers, meanwhile, issued orders to all political leaders and party workers, who are not voters in the constituencies, to leave by Tuesday evening. The police, too, have been directed to move out people from outside the constituencies living in hotels and kalyan mantaps.