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Public campaigning for bypolls ends in Karnataka

In the midst of allegations of distribution of money to woo voters in Sira and Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly constituencies, which will go to the polls on Tuesday, the open campaign came to an end on Sunday.

With limited time available at the disposal of leaders, rallies and padayatras marked the day, while party workers went from house to house to solicit votes. While the entire clan of JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda campaigned in different parts of Sira, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar was in R.R. Nagar. The campaign by city BJP leaders was focused on R.R. Nagar.

The bitter battle for the R.R. Nagar seat between the Congress and the BJP led to tense moments as BJP workers staged a protest early on Sunday morning on ring road, on their way to Nandini Layout police to register a complaint against the Congress for a skirmish with saffron party workers. Revenue Minister R. Ashok took out padayatra on behalf of the party’s candidate, Munirathna, and participated in a rally too.

Mr. Shivakumar was also in R.R. Nagar. Later in the day, MP for Bengaluru Rural D.K. Suresh denied that the Congress was involved in any untoward incident. He criticised the BJP for “enacting a drama” to gain sympathy.

In Sira, the JD(S), which is fighting to retain the seat, staged a huge road show and rally to mark the end of its campaign. While former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his son Nikhil participated in the road show, former Minister H.D. Revanna and his son, and MP for Hassan, Prajwal Revanna also joined in. At a massive rally, Mr. Deve Gowda announced that he would adopt Sira taluk for development and sought votes to “protect the party”.

Ammajamma blacks out

Ammajamma, the JD(S) candidate in Sira, blacked out during the campaign rally owing to exhaustion on Sunday. The 61-year-old, who had just recovered from COVID-19, took part in the party’s campaign rally in the morning. She almost fainted, but party workers came to her rescue. Sources in the JD(S) said she had been taking part in the campaign despite her tiredness. Ms. Ammajamma also made a fervent appeal to voters, seeking support on the basis of the party’s contribution to the constituency.

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