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Home > News > Report

Battle lines drawn for Karnataka election

Vicky Nanjappa | December 29, 2007 14:00 IST

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As Karnataka draws closer to elections, the three major political parties are finalizing the strategy to be adopted in the forthcoming elections.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party says that it would replicate both the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh formula, the Janata Dal-Secular will stress on development and commence its campaign from the coastal town of Mangalore.

The Congress says it would take another 15 days to come out with a final plan and only then will commence canvassing. In the just-concluded core committee meeting of the BJP, which was attended by senior leader Yeshwanth Sinha and the party's national organizing secretary Satish V, the party has decided to implement the Gujarat and HP model in Karnataka too.

The party decided that tickets to contest the polls will be given only to meritorious candidates. Sinha even warned the state leaders on giving tickets to candidates on personal considerations.

The JD-S will commence canvassing from the first week of January from Mangalore. Star campaigner for the JD-S and former Chief Minister of Karnataka, H D Kumaraswamy will join the campaign at a later stage. Kumaraswamy had undergone a heart surgery and is expected to be discharged from hospital on Saturday.

He will need rest before he gets into the thick of the action. The JD-S, which focuses mainly on the development of the state, has already finalized a list of 60 candidates to contest the polls which will be held in 224 constituencies in the state.

The remaining candidates will be finalized in another week or two, party leaders told Meanwhile, the Congress too is gearing up for the polls. They have decided to leave their leadership crisis aside and go ahead with the canvassing.

Congress leader and chairman of the All India Congress Committee media wing, Veerappa Moily said the issuance of tickets to the candidates will be streamlined and only candidates with credentials will be given tickets. Moily said that the campaign strategy will be finalized in another 15 days.

Moily also made it clear that there will no revamp in the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee and Mallikarjuna Kharge will continue to head it. He, however, added that the party will not project any chief ministerial candidate for now and a final decision will be taken by the party high command.

The Congress leaders, who are doing a re-think on their strategy following the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh debacle, are however quick to add that the results in the two states will have no impact on Karnataka. They maintain that the political scenario is completely different in Karnataka.

Meanwhile, all eyes are also fixed on M P Prakash, the leader who broke away from the JD-S. Moily says Prakash is welcome in the party, but the latter has made it clear that a final decision will be taken only after January 15.