Election campaign touches feverish pitch

Published on Apr 15, 2004 05:42 PM IST

With only six days left for the first phase of elections in 15 Lok Sabha and 120 Assembly constituencies, the campaign has touched a feverish pitch.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Bangalore

With only six days left for the first phase of elections in 15 Lok Sabha and 120 Assembly constituencies, the campaign by political parties has touched a feverish pitch in Karnataka.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee undertook a day-long electioneering for NDA on Tuesday addressing rallies at Belgaum and in the city.

The electioneering by Vajpayee in Karnataka signifies the importance the BJP has attached to the state, which it considers as its gateway to the South this time.

Last month, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani's 'Bharat Uday Yatra' launched from Kanyakumari traversed in parts of Karnataka.

Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna, not to be left behind, immediately embarked upon the Congress's 'Vijaya Dundubhi' yatra.

Krishna who set out on his yatra blowing the "conch", as he did while launching the "panchajanya yatra" in 1999 which saw him steering the Congress back in the saddle of power, has already completed five-leg electioneering in North, Central and Southern parts of the state.

Krishna who has emerged the star campaigner for Congress, has been on a whirlwind tour narrating the achievements of his four-and-half-year government and lashing out at what he termed the "discriminatory treatment" meted out by the Centre in granting assistance to tackle drought.

Krishna is virtually banking upon the success of his government's "akshara dasoha", the mid-day meal programme benefitting 62 lakh school children, for getting a renewed manadate to rule the state for another five-years.

The BJP, led by state unit president Anantkumar and its campaign committee chairman B S Yediyurappa, has launched a counter campaign against Congress by taking up 'Karnataka Uday Yatra'.

The BJP leaders have opened frontal attack on Congress accusing it of poor administration, rampant corruption and failure in utilising the foodgrains provided by the Centre for drought relief.

The JDS, led by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, is pulling all stops and attacking the government for what it called "anti-poor and anti-farmer policies".

Gowda, who has been contesting from Kanakapura and Hassan Lok Sabha constituencies, has also been undertaking hectic electioneering, but not under the banner of any "yatra".

JDS has been claiming that it would regain the reigns of administration after the coming assembly polls.

The Janata Party, the nascent regional outfit Kannada Nadu and Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Party have also been campaigning in various parts of the state.

The din and bustle raised by electioneering for the first phase of polling ends on April 18.

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