Karnataka Elections 2018 and Rahul-Modi Row
Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef 09 May 2018
As the Karnataka Assembly election is round the corner, national leaders are camped in the state for the campaigns. The game of slamming and blaming each political party for the issues has been a trend. A situation has emerged where they have to exhibit and defend their actions to gain votes. The Congress party’s urge to be back in and the BJP’s endeavors to open the doors to the south through winning Karnataka’s election has been heating up the whole campaign. Whatsoever, the challenges and dares by both Rahul Gandhi and Modi seem to be a tool of distraction as it literally shifting the major focus from the real issues to the cheap politics which revolves around the politicians.
Modi- Rahul Gandhi row
In upcoming 12 May Karnataka polls, the BJP is attempting to oust the Congress. It was thus only natural that for Modi to directly aim at Rahul and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Modi, at his sarcastic best, accepted Rahul’s challenge of a 15-minute debate in Parliament but also threw the Congress president a counter-challenge: For him to speak at his election rallies for 15 minutes about the Congress government's achievements in Karnataka (in any language he desires: Hindi, English, or even Sonia's mother tongue Italian) without referring to a piece of paper and pronounce the name of M Visvesvaraya five times. In April, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrashekar posted a clip purportedly showing Rahul mispronouncing Visvesvaraya's name after which the BJP's state unit posted a comic mocking the Gandhi scion.
Modi has often targeted the Siddaramaiah-led Congress regime in Karnataka over alleged corruption, calling it a "10 percent commission government". In his first public rally to campaign for the BJP, Modi used Rahul Gandhi’s tweet “EKAurJhoot” — which ridiculed the Centre's claim that all Indian villages had been electrified — to swing public discourse by unleashing a new naamdaar versus kaamdaar (someone identified by lineage versus someone identified for work done) debate.
It was also time for Modi to encash the BJP's decision not to give a ticket to the son of their chief ministerial nominee BS Yeddyurappa. The Congress’ decision to field sons and daughters of various senior leaders, including Siddaramaiah, drew sharp criticism from Modi.
A video purportedly showing Rahul "disrespecting" the national song Vande Mataram at a public rally in Bantwal, which went viral, also came handy for Modi. The video purportedly showed Rahul pointing to his watch and instructing local leaders to ask the singer to perform just one line of the song.
According to Modi, the Congress devised 2+1 formula (Siddaramaiah fighting from two seats and son Yathindra fighting from one seat) and 1+1 formula for other ministers. Modi wants to turn these elections into “family politics versus people’s politics.”
Rahul Gandhi's Stance
Rahul Gandhi claimed that the BJP had given tickets to eight tainted candidates for the upcoming state Assembly election. Gandhi, back in Karnataka for the seventh leg of his poll campaign, questioned the prime minister's authority to speak on corruption while being surrounded by BJP leaders accused of financial wrongdoing.
Gandhi, during his campaign, has frequently invoked Basavanna, the 12th-century social reformer who is worshipped by the numerically strong and politically influential Lingayat community in the state, for which the Siddaramaiah government has recommended a religious minority status, a move that has been dubbed by the BJP as an attempt to divide the Hindus. The Lingayats have hitherto largely backed the saffron party in elections.
Insisting that government funds should reach the common man, who works hard to meet his day-to-day needs and contributes to the progress of Karnataka and the country. He also hits out at the Centre over the alleged waiver of huge bank loans of industrialists, a benefit denied to the farmers.
He also claimed that the Congress and chief minister Siddaramaiah had worked for the welfare of farmers and the poor, Gandhi accused Modi of making false promises and asked the people whether Rs 15 lakh had been deposited in their bank accounts, as promised by the prime minister in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Terming the Karnataka polls a fight between two ideologies, Gandhi said on one side, there was the Congress, while on the other, the BJP-RSS.
However, their rasping statements and attack on each other’s ideology appear to have taken the focus away from those legitimate issues pertaining to the people of Karnataka. It is in fact a new trend set by them not to discuss what matters the public. India will step forward to change when these politicians stop playing the dirty game of blaming each other and take up the responsibility for the cause. We, the voters, must ensure that same mistake isn’t repeating by letting them win in the elections anymore because the time has come to hold them accountable for the menace.
By: Thamanna Abdul Latheef C
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