Electoral politics in Karnataka just got a bit more interesting with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress at each other’s throats, especially at a time when the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi crosses the state. Although the BJP is at the head of the state, Congress seems to be catching up through campaigns and promises such as the “PayCM” poster war and the increase in the reservation quota for Scheduled Castes (SC ) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).
COUNTERING BHARAT JODO YATRA
In an apparent attempt to counter the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which is expected to run through Karnataka until October 19, full-page advertisements were published in four major Kannada newspapers, which looked like “news articles” exposing the Congress. The adverts contained ‘articles’ alleging how Rahul Gandhi partied when India fell victim to a terrorist attack on 26/11, how the Gandhis got caught up in the National Herald affair and Siddaramaiah pulled prosecution of members of the now banned Popular Front of India (PFI).
“It is abundantly clear that Rahul Gandhi has set the tone for the polls in Karnataka and a desperate BJP is trying to cash in on our party’s promises that we will keep when we return to power. Rahul Gandhi demanded a quota increase for SC and ST and the BJP dithered and was forced to respond. The underperforming BJP is troubled by the impact that Congress and Bharat Jodo Yatra are having,” Karnataka Congress Spokesperson Mansoor Khan said.
BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi said the Congress was not only in retreat due to the BJP’s successful campaigns, but was on the verge of decimating itself. “The Bharat Jodo Yatra has no effect on the pitch. People not only rejected the Congress all over the country, but they also did the same in Karnataka. The people of Karnataka will once again show how they (Congress) will be politically annihilated,” Ravi said.
INCREASE IN RESERVATIONS FOR SC/ST
After a nudge from Rahul Gandhi seeking to push back the reservation cap for SCs and STs by implementing the report of the Nagmohandas Justice Commission, the Bommai government announced a reservation increase of 2% for SCs and STs. 4% for ST. This decision will take the reserve beyond the 50% that the government intends to assert later in court.
While addressing a public gathering at Brahma Devarahalli village in Mandya district on Thursday, Rahul called on the Karnataka government to convene an assembly session to address the issue of increasing the reservation quota for the SCs (from 15% to 17%) and the STs (from 3% to 7%) as recommended by the report of the Commission of Judge Nagamohan Das.
A day later, Bommai made the announcement after chairing the meeting attended by opposition leader Siddaramaiah and Janata Dal (secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy.
EMOTIONAL APPEAL FOR AN ELEPHANT
Rahul Gandhi’s October 6 letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on the plight of an injured baby elephant in the forest of Nagarhole Tiger Reserve struck a chord. Rahul recounted in the letter how he encountered the painful sight of an injured baby elephant, along with his mother, during his visit to the forest.
“The little calf has a badly injured tail and trunk and is fighting for its life…the calf is definitely in need of urgent medical attention. Therefore, I wanted to cross political boundaries and appeal to your sense of compassion to intervene and save the little elephant,” he wrote in the letter.
Bommai quickly responded to the congress leader’s emotional plea for immediate medical attention and said forestry officials would ensure the baby elephant and his mother’s full recovery and act accordingly as he deserved priority.
PAYCM (Chief Minister) VS PAYCM (Congress Madame)
It was the PayCM billboard campaign launched by the Congress that boiled the BJP, resulting in a rather weak counter-imitation campaign that was unable to remove the sting caused by the opposition. The Congressional PayCM campaign involved posters bearing CM Bommai’s face as a QR code. Once scanned, one was directed to a website called ‘40% Sarkara’, which reportedly revealed corruption in the BJP government in Karnataka and how it charged 40% commission on public works.
Calling it an “evil design” to slander the BJP government, Bommai called the campaign a concerted effort by Congress to tarnish his reputation and that of the state. He dismissed the corruption allegations, saying it was a plot to slander his government and ordered the police to arrest everyone involved.
“Are you saying there were no scams when Congress was in power? None of these allegations against us are true. They brought no evidence. Everything is politically motivated. I challenged them to produce evidence. During their tenure (in Congress), many scams should be investigated,” Bommai said.
“PayCM stands for ‘Pay Congress Madam’. Congress knew their party was corrupt when they started it,” CT Ravi told News18 when asked about the poster campaign.
To counter the PayCM poster campaign, the BJP then released a booklet of its own poster series. In a 28-page booklet targeting opposition leader Siddaramaiah and Congress, one of the main cartoons was of the leader with 16 arms each depicting an alleged scam committed under their government between 2013 and 2018.
The BJP also released a fake Gandhis poster targeting Congresswoman Sonia Gandhi and her family. The poster showed how the Gandhis are on bail in the National Herald case and how the “fake Gandhis” use the name of the Father of the Nation for power.
A BJP tweet said: “There is a stark difference between Mahatma Gandhi, who celebrated Satyagraha for the survival of this country, and fake Gandhis who put Gandhi before their name for power.
Another poster campaign targeting Congress was the “PFI Bhagya” poster claiming that the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had withdrawn the charges against 1,600 PFI workers. The term “Bhagya” is a pun on the welfare programs initiated by Siddaramaiah during his tenure. In this campaign, the BJP copied the Congress QR code scheme. which upon scanning led people to a website that showed the PFI cases withdrawn by the former Congressional CM.
A Congress supporter, during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Nanjangud, was beaten by the police and his T-shirt was forcibly taken off because it had the words “PayCM” on it.
Wondering if the BJP has been rattled by Rahul Gandhi and aggressive Congress campaigns, political analyst Sandeep Shastri says the BJP, which has always been comfortable challenging rather than defending, is compelled to respond. this time.
“The situation is different. Until now, it was the BJP that set the agenda and Congress reacted. Here, it now looks like Congress is setting the benchmark and the BJP is compelled to respond,” Shastri observed.
He also said there was no doubt that there was a battle going on in Karnataka and Rahul being part of the opposition was challenging the ruling BJP party. On a question about the BJP passing a resolution against the Bharat Jodo Yatra at their state executive meeting held recently, Shastri said that “by doing so, the BJP has given the yatra more importance and attention, which they could have simply ignored”. .
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Disclaimer: This story is automatically aggregated by a computer program on 2022-10-10 12:22:18 and was not created or edited by KhabarInshorts. Publisher: News18 Source link