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Home > News > Report

Karnataka poll: Parties line up sops

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | January 24, 2008 11:59 IST

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With Governor Rameshwar Thakur and the Election Commission indicating that election to the Karnataka assembly may be held in May, parties are trying to cram in as many promises as in their manifesto as possible.

The star campaigner of the The Bharatiya Janata Party, B S Yeddyurappa, who is hoping to capitalise on public sympathy after the Janata Dal-Secular did him in within seven days of his taking charge as chief minister, has said his party will provide free power to farmers who own irrigation pump sets up to 10 horse power in the state.

The said this initiative will benefit at least 11 lakh farmers. The BJP also promised farm credit in which the farmer will pay one-fourth the interest amount while the rest will be borne by the government.

The JD-S, which is being viewed as the villain in the drama after the flip flop it did with the BJP says it is confident of winning the polls. Political pundits say that the party will be in a commanding position even if it wins 25 seats in the elections as it would get to play the role of kingmaker.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda will lead the campaign while his son, H D Kumaraswamy, who is recovering from a heart surgery, is expected to join the campaign from February 20.

The JD-S is not expected to announce any major sops for the people of the state and will concentrate on the developmental aspect instead. Senior JD-S leaders feel that this would be a more practical approach to the elections as the people in the state expect overall developments and not mere promises.

The Congress, which is witnessing a leadership battle, has managed to whip out a promise to the voter. The Congress has said it will provide rice at Rs 3.20/kg for those living below the poverty line. Now, they get rice at Rs 8/kg.

Former chief minister S M Krishna is also expected to return to state politics and may contest from Maddur, a constituency which he had dumped in the last elections.

But the high command is aware that announcing Krishna's name as the CM candidate would create a major power imbalance in the party as Mallikarjuna Kharge too is gunning for the coveted post.

The other campaigners for the Congress will be former chief minister Dharam Singh, D K Shivakumar and Ambarish.