High-voltage campaign for K'taka elections ends; voting tomorrow

Saturday, 12 May, 2018

When asked about his visits to places of worship, particularly temples, and the BJP's description of him as an "election Hindu", Gandhi said, "BJP gets uncomfortable when I go to a temple". Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, one of the prime movers of the opposition front along with TRS supreme K Chandrasekhara Rao, had recently made it clear that Congress should accept a supportive role in the proposed front and not insist on leading it. We did well in publicity. The issue of Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin was raked up by Modi at an election rally in Santemaranahalli on May 1 where he dared the Congress chief to speak for 15 minutes about the achievements of the Karnataka government in any language, including his "mother's mother tongue".

Never in the past did Karnataka witness such a vitriolic campaign bordering on personal attacks and unabashed display of identity politics. "Today, Ms. Antonio Maino is here in K'taka to save her last citadel from falling!"

During the days that the Prime Minister wasn't in the southern state, he made use of technology to connect with the party's cadres through his personal mobile app. In fact, before the "SANYAS" Yogi Adityanath was Ajay Bist.

"I urge BJP, Congress and other parties should come together to give protection to Dalits. But we are here to create history and not to obey it", Siddaramaiah tweeted.

The contest between Mr Modi and his principal challenger Mr Gandhi reached a new high during electioneering with both taking potshots at each other, pushing regional and development issues to the back burner.

Rahul's "ready for PM" remark has clearly signalled the start of a narrative of him versus Modi battle in the run up to the general elections and that Congress party is the anchor of an anti-BJP coalition. Why should there be so much burnout in BJP'S team?

The Congress party had won 122 seats in the 2013 elections, the halfway mark, and ran its government with the support of independent MLAs and smaller parties. Manmohan Singh knew the art of bathing with a raincoat on, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked in Parliament previous year. Congress has just 44 members in the Lok Sabha and is the ruling party in only three states, including Karnataka. Congress leader Ahmed Patel has named Rahul Gandhi as the candidate for the prime minister's post.

The Congress signed off with senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing four rallies in Mangalore. Nor they have any thinking like supporting Deve Gowda in 1996 and later Indra Kumar Gujral. "Rakesh is my mother's nephew's son and he has got no connections with the flat in Park View apartment, as is claimed in media", Sridhar said and added that the flat has been rented to Rangaraju who pays rent for it every month. Congress has learned the skill of managing the alliance government between 2004 and 2014.