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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Cong, BJP turning Karnataka into virtual battleground

PTI  Bangalore, April 30, 2013
First Published: 17:50 IST(30/4/2013) | Last Updated: 17:52 IST(30/4/2013)

The Congress and BJP have turned the Karnataka Assembly elections into a virtual battleground, with campaigning increasingly getting fierce, nasty, personal and bitter.

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BJP star campaigner Narendra Modi's repeated attack on Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi at a public rally in Bangalore evoked sharp reaction from the latter's party leaders, who have questioned the Gujarat chief minister's development model.

Modi is slated for a "final offensive" on May 2, a day before campaigning for the May 5 polls would end, addressing rallies in Belgaum and Mangalore seeking to "swing that one per cent vote", as one BJP leader put it.

BJP President Rajnath Singh, senior leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj have actively participated in campaigning in recent days as the party, fighting anti-incumbency factor, is determined to give its best shot at efforts to retain power, which as of now looks a tall order.

Smelling blood, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned to storm into power, enthused as it is by some poll surveys which predicted that the party is the front-runner to form Government.

Rahul is slated to address three rallies - Mandya, Hassan and Belgaum - on Wednesday, while Congress President Sonia Gandhi likely to address public meetings in Gulbarga and Bangalore a day later, subject to final confirmation.


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