Campaigning for first phase of LS polls in Karnataka ends


PTI, Apr 24, 2024, 6:17 PM IST

Bengaluru: Campaigning for 14 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka going to polls in the first phase on April 26, came to an end on Wednesday.

A total of 247 candidates — 226 men and 21 women — are in the fray for the first round of voting in most of the southern and coastal districts, where an estimated over 2.88 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in 30,602 polling stations on Friday.

It is a straight electoral contest between the ruling Congress and the BJP-Janata Dal (Secular) combine in the State.

While the Congress is contesting in all 14 seats, BJP has fielded nominees in 11, and its alliance partner JD(S) in three — Hassan, Mandya and Kolar.

Besides the three, the segments where elections will be held on Friday are: Udupi-Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore North, Bangalore Central, Bangalore South and Chikkballapur.
The intense campaigning for the past about a month saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah leading from the front for the BJP, holding rallies and roadshows. BJP President J P Nadda, some Union Ministers and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant too pitched in.

Veteran BJP leader and former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and the party’s state president B Y Vijayendra also campaigned extensively.

Congress president M Mallikarjun Kharge, senior leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar and Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy were among the prominent names who led the charge for the party.

And for the JD(S), it was the 90-year-old party patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who led the campaign.

Chikkaballapur has a maximum number of 29 candidates, followed by 24 in Bangalore Central and Dakshina Kannada has the least number – nine.

Kumaraswamy from Mandya, his brother-in-law and noted cardiologist C N Manjunath from Bangalore Rural on a BJP ticket, erstwhile Mysuru royal family scion Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar from Mysore, also from the BJP, and state Congress President Shivakumar’s brother and MP D K Suresh from Bangalore Rural, are among the prominent candidates in the fray in the first phase.

The state has a total of 28 Lok Sabha segments. The remaining 14 constituencies, mostly in the northern districts, will go to polls on May seven.

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