Bangalore: The Congress, hoping to recapture power in Karnataka after nearly six years, on Monday launched issue-based 'padayatras' (marches) and people's contact programmes that would continue for three months.
Polls to the 225-member assembly are due in May.
The first of the four 'padayatras' got off on Monday at Hospet in Bellary district, about 300 kilometres north of Bangalore, and would end on January 14 at Koodalasangama in Bagalkot district after covering a distance of around 130 kilometres.
State Congress chief G. Parameshwara, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Siddaramaiah and party leader in the legislative council S.R. Patil would lead the 'padayatras'.
The Hospet-Koodalasanagama march, called 'Congress nadige Krishneya kadege' (march towards Krishna river), is to highlight the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's failure to complete various projects to utilize the Krishna water, according to Parameshwara.
Dates for the other three 'padayatra' would be announced after the conclusion of the first.
The second, which also would be in north Karnataka, is on the theme of equality. The third, in coastal Karnataka, is on communal harmony, and the last, in southern Karnataka, is titled 'Congress march towards people's governance'.
The BJP too has announced a three-phase programme, beginning on January 20 to woo voters.
The weeklong first phase would see door-to-door campaign across the state by party workers, according to state BJP general secretary and Lok Sabha member Prahlad Joshi.
In the second phase - from January 28 to February 10 - booth-level meetings of party workers would be held in each of the 224 assembly constituencies.
The third phase between February 17 and March 3 would involve state-wide tour by party leaders.
The state unit of the party has already announced that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar would lead the party in the polls.