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Karnataka polls: Corruption is main campaign issue

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 09:05 hrs

Bangalore: Karnataka voters are having a hard time deciding who to vote for in the May 5 assembly poll, with all the parties in the fray terming each other "the most corrupt".

The campaign by central and state leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the main challenger, the Congress, as well as leaders of smaller parties is full of promises to rid the state of corruption - with an assurance of good governance thrown in.

It is a field day for the BJP's opponents as present and ex-BJP leaders are gunning for each other with corruption charges.

The flip-side of this happy development for BJP opponents is that they have to resort to hyperbole to describe how corrupt BJP rule in Karnataka has been for the last five years.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi did that Friday at a campaign meeting in Haveri, about 300 km north of Bangalore, by claiming that the BJP government in Karnataka had set a "world record" in corruption.

Conversely, the BJP has been terming the Congess-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at New Delhi "the most corrupt" regime India has seen.

While the issue of corruption dominates the speeches, other topics that get brief mention are power, water and unemployment.

Surprisingly, problem of price rise is mentioned in passing.

With political parties themselves not taking their manifestos seriously, no leader refers to it -- and the promises made therein.

Even the promise of supplying 25 kg (by BJP) or 30 kg (by Congress) of rice at Re.1 a kg for poor families is not getting highlighted as it is no longer a novel idea.

On the whole electioneering is in low-key, compared to the significance attached to the poll outcome - from being a trend-setter for parliamentary poll to morale booster for Congress if it wins and a dream come true again for BJP in case it emerges even as the single largest party.




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