In India, campaigning has ceased in the Chikmagalur constituency in the state of Karnataka after violence halted preparations for a by-election.
In India, campaigning has ceased in the Chikmagalur constituency in the state of Karnataka after violence halted preparations for a by-election. Voting was due to start on Sunday (5 November).
SYNOPSIS: On Wednesday (1 November) the former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, arrived at Chikmagalur to begin her campaign. At the age of 60 she is attempting a Parliamentary comeback after her crushing defeat in National general elections by Prime Minister Morarji Desai's Janata Party. If she is elected, she will become leader of the National Opposition. The Janata Party came to power 20 months ago after Mrs. Gandhi and the then ruling Congress Party relaxed their imposition of martial law and allowed free democratic elections.
The Janata Party is reported to have mounted a fierce campaign to discredit Mrs. Gandhi and violence had been feared. More than 1,200 State police had been brought into the Chikmagalur Constituency to control election crowds. But the State Government, which consists of Mrs. Gandhi's Indira Congress Party has been accused of using the police to support her campaign.
Violence did break out between those for and against Mrs. Gandhi. Police charged with metal-tipped bamboo canes and eventually fired tear gas to disperse the contestants. Another outbreak of violence like this - but at a Janata Party Rally - led to the death of a 19-year-old girl student who was hit by a tear gas bomb. Some 85 other people were injured. That occurred some 70 kilometres (45 miles) from here, at Ujire. Violence was also reported at the nearby coastal city of Mangalore.
The campaign has been further complicated by a summons issued by authorities in the southern Indian town of Dodballapur that Mrs. Gandhi falsely applied to be registered there as a voter. The issue has yet to be resolved.