Campaigning ends for Karnataka assembly by-poll

September 24th, 2011 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Koppal (Karnataka), Sep 24 (IANS) Public campaigning ended Saturday for the Sep 26 by-election to the Karnataka assembly from this town, the outcome of which would impact equations within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Over 185,000 people, including around 95,000 women, are eligible to vote in the bypoll caused by the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislator Karadi Sanganna resigning from the assembly as well as his party to join the BJP in March this year.

Koppal is about 300 km from Bangalore.

The BJP has fielded Sanganna. His main rivals are former legislator Basavaraj Hitnal of the Congress and Pradeep Patil of the JD-S, who is contesting for the first time.

The result, which would be out Sep 29, would not affect the second BJP government headed by D.V. Sadananda Gowda in Karnataka as the ruling party has 118 members and the support of one Independent in the 225-member house that also includes one nominated member. However, the outcome would have a bearing on the internal politics of the state BJP.

The ruling party went to the bypoll with former chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa loyalists using it to project him as the “undisuputed” leader, though he was forced out of office July 31 for graft in an illegal mining scam.

The dispute was settled by the party central leaders who directed the state unit to “fight the bypoll under collective leadership”.

However Yeddyurappa, who quit after the Lokayukta recommended his trial for graft in an illegal mining case, has not spared any opportunity to show that he is the star campaigner for the party in Koppal.

He spent several days in the Koppal constituency, seeking exemption from personal appearance in a court in Bangalore hearing graft cases against him.

Gowda has also campaigned in the area but for fewer days.

Only on Friday in a show of unity within the state unit, Gowda, Yeddyurappa, state BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa and party general secretary and Bangalore South Lok Sabha member H.N. Ananth Kumar campaigned together.

For the Congress, winning the seat would be a morale booster as it has fared poorly in all elections since it lost power in the state in 2004.

Victory of the JD-S would give the struggling party of former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda hope that it remains a force in the state politics, in spite of graft cases against his son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his legislator wife Anita.

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