Bommai and former CMs slog it out in Hangal constituency

With less than a week left for the byelections to Hangal and Sindgi, the campaign pitch rose particularly in Hangal where two former Chief Ministers, the present Chief Minister, and the state president of Congress sharpening their attacks, on Friday.

Hangal witnessed KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar and former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah sharing the dais in one venue. At another, former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai shared the stage.

Also read: Byelections | Leaders talk of restraint, but tirades continue

Winning the Hangal bypoll is certainly crucial for Mr. Bommai, who represents Shiggaon Assembly segment in the same (Haveri) district. The Chief Minister wants to send a strong message to his detractors within the party by winning the bypolls and is not leaving any stone unturned.

Although the bypoll result will not affect the present government in any way, they have larger implications on the future of Mr. Bommai’s leadership and the next general Assembly election.

The Congress too is throwing its might behind its candidates, resulting in escalating poll fever.

Battle ready: BJP leaders B.S. Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai campaign at Bammanahalli in Hangal taluk on Friday; (right) Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and D.K. Shivakumar at Naregal in Hangal taluk.

On Friday, Mr. Bommai, Mr. Siddaramaiah, Mr. Shivakumar, and Mr. Yediyurappa were seen trading charges against each other, and countering their statements throughout the day in different villages. Interestingly, the leaders were seen challenging the others to produce “proof” of their contribution to the region.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shivakumar said the Congress would complain to the Election Commission on use of money power to woo voters. “We have proof of money being brought in for distribution to voters. The BJP are operating from the neighbouring constituency. We have received video clips of the same. We will bring it to the notice of the Election Commission,” he told reporters during the campaign in Hangal.

Also read: Bommai campaigns in Hangal, holds meeting at Shivakumar Udasi’s house

Responding to it at a poll meeting at Bammanahalli in Hangal taluk, Mr. Yediyurappa said it was the Congress which had “sowed seeds of casteism and use of money power” for winning elections.

Meanwhile, in Sindgi too, the campaign gained further momentum with various leaders of parties and several Ministers of the present government making appeals at different places in the constituency.

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