Karwar: Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district, which has one of the highest literacy rates among the constituencies heading for the December 5 byelections, is seeing a tame campaign with political parties steering clear of the blame games and personal attacks that are usually a part and parcel of such polls.
As the BJP's, Shivaram Hebbar and Congress party's, Bheemanna Naik, take on each other, there are surprisingly, hardly any references to the former's defection from the Congress to help bring down the Kumaraswamy government in July. And the candidates are also ignoring burning issues like flood compensation and the problems of forest dwellers dogging the constituency.
“About 80 per cent of Uttara Kannada is under forest cover. People here have been demanding regularisation of forest dwellers and the battle has had great support in Yellapur too. Although the issue was expected to be a big one these elections, neither the opposition Congress, nor the ruling BJP has referred to it,” said activist Madhav Naik, noting that the opposition was not attacking the BJP on its lack of financial support for the flood victims either. “Also, none of the senior Congress leaders are seriously criticising Hebbar. Although they attack the BJP in general, they are not targeting him in particular. This could be because of his bond with the people," he added. In his view, the dull campaign is due to the absence of prominent leaders. “Mr R.V. Deshpande of the Congress is the only influential leader of the district to have come to Yellapur,” he pointed out.