Leaders make beeline to K'taka for 2nd phase polls

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{image-Karnataka boopadam_11052008.jpg news.oneindia.in}Bangalore, May 11: With peaceful completion of Assembly elections for the first phase, the campaigning for the second phase picked up momentum with top leaders criss-crossing across 66 constituencies in ten districts of Karnataka today.

Electoral fortunes of BJP's chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, pitted against former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader S Bangarappa in Shikaripura in Shimoga district would be decided in this phase. Congress and Janata Dal(Secular) were supporting the SP leader in a bid to defeat Mr Yeddyurappa. While Congress has withdrawn its candidate, Janata Dal(S) has not fielded a candidate. Other heavyweight leaders in the fray in the second phase were former Deputy Chief Minister M P Prakash of the Congress, former ministers K S Eshwarappa of the BJP and R V Deshpande of the Congress. With three days left for the campaign in the second phase of elections scheduled for May 16, senior BJP leader L K Advani and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addressed public meetings and campaigned today.

While Mr Advani went round the Hyderabad-Karnataka region Mr Modi campaigned along the coastal districts.

A host of leaders, including Union Ministers Meira Kumar and Jyotiraditya Sindhia also canvassed today.

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi would hit the campaign trail addressing at Kumta in Uttara Kannada, Kundapur in Dakshina Kannada, Mudigere in Chikmagallur and Harapanahalli in Bellary districts.

He would come to the state from Goa and stay overnight in Chikmagalur. On Tuesday, he would address election meetings at Mangalore and Koppal, a KPCC release said.

BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati would be campaigning in Hospet in Bellary district and in Chitradurga.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi would make her second trip to the state in two weeks to address election rallies in Koppal and Mangalore on May 13.

BJP president Rajnath Singh would resume his third round of campaign on May 15.


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