Campaigning for 17 Lok Sabha seats ends in Karnataka

April 21st, 2009 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, April 21 (IANS) An acrimonious public campaigning ended Tuesday for 17 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has high stakes as the polls are being held in the state for the first time under its rule.
About 20.6 million voters, including 10.3 million women, are eligible to decide the fortunes of 273 candidates in Bangalore South, Bangalore Central, Bangalore North, Bangalore Rural, Chikkodi, Raichur (ST), Belgaum, Bijapur (SC), Gulbarga (SC), Bidar, Koppal, Bellary (ST), Uttara Kannada, Chitradurga (SC), Tumkur, Chikkaballapur and Kolar (SC).

Charges and counter-charges dominated the campaigning as parties and candidates did not find a single issue that could create a wave in their favour.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, BJP prime ministerial candidate L. K. Advani, party president Rajnath Singh and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi have campaigned in the state for their party candidates.

The Janata Dal-Secular campaign was led by party president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and his son and former chief minister H. D. Kumaraswamy.

According to the state chief electoral officer (CEO) M. N. Vidyashankar, over 406 poll code violation cases have been registered with the BJP toping the list with 125 cases.

The Congress faces 103 cases and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) 60. The remaining cases are against candidates of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Communist Party of India and other small parties and Independent candidates.

The election authorities have seized Rs.226.5 million in cash, of which Rs.156.6 million were from from BJP-stronghold and iron ore rich Bellary Lok Sabha constituency.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyruappa’s home district Shimoga comes second with a haul of Rs.16.6 million. Shimoga votes in the second phase April 30.

The state police have set up a round-the-clock toll free number 1800-4250-100 for the public to report any poll code violations.

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