Bangalore, May 8: Curtains came down this evening for campaigning for the first phase of polling on May 10 in Karnataka even as top political leaders including Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh made a last minute effort to woo the voters.
All eyes are on Karnataka as this was the first State in the country going to polls after delimitation process was taken up by the Union Government. Barring stray incidents, the campaign ended in a peaceful note. The election was necessitated following JD(S) withdrawing its support to its coalition partner BJP. Voters heaved a sigh of relief as the poll campaign did not cause any inconvenience to them. Thanks mainly to the Election Commission which implemented the code very strictly. Usual banners, posters and writing on the walls were missing. Even public meetings by Political stalwarts failed to attract more crowd as people were otherwise busy in their routine works. The campaign was mainly focused on door to door visit besides public meetings by various political party leaders.
In all 89 constituency in 11 Districts of Karnataka South goes to polls on Saturday with as many as 950 candidates including former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, Former Deputy Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, former Ministers D K Shivakumar (Cong), D H Shankaramurthy (BJP), H Vishwanath (Cong), H D Revanna(JD-S) among others in the fray.
There are 172,88,358 voters (43 per cent of total voters in the State) including 84,14,624 female and 88,73,734 male. Top leaders of various political had descended and made vigorous campaigning to win the confidence of voters in their party favour. For Congress, besides Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, a number of Union Ministers including Kapil Sibal, Oscar Fernandes, Jagdish Tytler, while for BJP, which took lead in launching the campaign even before election dates were announced saw to it that its President Rajnath Singh, leaders Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Nadu, National General Secretary Ananthkumar make a whirlwind effort to attract the voters.
Former Prime Minister and JD(S) National President H D Deve Gowda utilised the campaign platform to explain to the people about the reason for not handing over the power to BJP and thus leading to mid-term poll in the State. "It was done in the interest of the party and to prevent communalisation of the State by BJP", Former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee made a last minute appeal to the voters of Karnataka through an advertisement in a section of the press to vote for his party candidates for the development of the State. In its last minute efforts BJP roped in film actor turned Film Director Feroz Khan who campaigned in the city yesterday.