Karnataka parties get into poll mode

March 18th, 2008 - 12:06 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Narendra Modi

Bangalore, March 17 (IANS) With assembly elections round the corner, the major political parties in Karnataka have got into poll mode, organising pujas, addressing rallies and wooing farmers. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday brought Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to address a large rally of farmers in the north Karntaka town of Hubli - as part of poll preparations as well as its nationwide campaign to take on the Congress on the Rs.600 billion farm loan waiver.

The BJP has again named Arun Jaitley to lead the party’s campaign. He managed the campaign in the 2004 assembly polls when the BJP emerged the single largest party with 79 seats in the assembly.

Former Congress chief minister S.M. Krishna, who recently resigned as Maharashtra governor, flew in to Bangalore Monday to a rousing welcome from his supporters at the airport. While several prominent state party leaders were present to receive him, state Congress chief Mallikharjun Kharge was not.

Krishna will head one of the several poll-related committees constituted by the Congress to accommodate senior leaders who are expected to provide a collective leadership to the party for the polls.

The Congress has revived its ‘janandolana’ (people’s agitation) rallies even as it remains opposed to the poll in May this year on the ground that the voters’ lists are full of discrepancies.

Meanwhile, the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) took to elaborate pujas. JD-S president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda, with wife Chennamma and two politician sons in tow, converted the party office in the heart of Bangalore into the site for a night-long ‘homa’ ritual on Saturday, keeping the party workers away from the place.

The elaborate rituals invoking the blessings of Hindu gods and goddesses ended Sunday hoping that the party will reap a rich harvest in the expected May poll to the 224-memer Karnataka assembly.

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