Campaign ends for remaining 14 Karnataka LS seats

Congress President Rahul Gandhi addresses a public rally

Bengaluru,  The high-voltage campaign in Karnataka’s remaining 14 Lok Sabha constituencies across the state’s western and northern parts going to polls in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 23 concluded on Sunday.

“The fortnight-long campaign of two regions ended at 5 p.m. with no untoward incident or any major violation of the Model Code of Conductd,” a poll official told IANS.

The 14 seats are Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Bijapur (SC), Gulbarga (SC), Raichur (ST), Bidar, Koppal, Bellary (ST), Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davanagere and Shimoga. Ttate’s other 14 seats voted on April 18 in the second phase.

Prime Minister Narenda Modi held two rallies at Bagalkot and Chikkodi on April 18 when heavy voting was underway in the central and southern regions in the second phase, while Congress President Rahul Gandhi campaigned for the joint candidates of the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular ruling alliance at Raichur and Chikkodi on Friday.

For the BJP, state unit President and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa campaigned in the Malnad region and coastal areas, while Congress state President Dinesh Gundu Rao, Chief Mminister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Congress Legislative Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramiah did in the northern and western regions.

Union Ministers Ananth Kumar Hegde, contesting from Uttara Kannada and Ramesh Jigajinagi from Bijapur (SC) also held road shows and addressed public meetings.

The BJP is contesting in all the 14 seats, while the Congress in 11 and JD-S in 3.

In the 2014 general elections, the BJP won 11 seats and Congress the remaining 3, while the JD-S drew blank.

With the JD-S and Congress fielding joint candidates as part of their pre-poll alliance, the BJP nominees are locked in a straight contest with them after nearly three decades.

The Congress is contesting Chikkodi, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Gulbarga (SC), Raichur (ST), Bidar, Koppal, Bellary (ST), Haveri, Dharwad and Davanagere and the JD-S from Bijapur (SC), Shimoga and Uttara Kannada.

Congress leader in the outgoing Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge is contesting from Gulbarga for a hat-trick and party’s state unit Working {resident Eshwar Khandre from Bidar.

In high-profile Shimoga, sons of former Chief Ministers – Yeddyurappa’s B.Y. Raghavendra and late S. Bangarappa’s Madhu Bangarappa (JD-S) – are locked in straight contest.

The Congress has fielded woman candidate Veena Kasappanavar in Bagalkot and JD-S Sunita Devanand in Bijapur, while the BJP has none.