Everything is looking fair in decisive Karnataka ‘Battle Royale’

Satish Chapparike
Monday, 30 April 2018

The juggernaut BJP and the struggling yet authoritative Indian National Congress (INC) both know that the ensuring assembly elections Karnataka this will mark the ‘Battle Royale!’ in national politics. So, both the national parties have taken the battle for Karnataka as a prestige issue and an ugly of and online mudslinging is in full swing.

Amidst all this, the regional party JD(S) led by the old horse and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda is all set to spoil the game of the bigger parties.

The juggernaut BJP and the struggling yet authoritative Indian National Congress (INC) both know that the ensuring assembly elections Karnataka this will mark the ‘Battle Royale!’ in national politics. So, both the national parties have taken the battle for Karnataka as a prestige issue and an ugly of and online mudslinging is in full swing.

Amidst all this, the regional party JD(S) led by the old horse and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda is all set to spoil the game of the bigger parties.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah-led Congress has been in power since the last five years in Karnataka and has fared quite well in governance.

Especially, their social welfare schemes like ‘Anna Bhagya’, ‘Krishi Bhagya’, ‘Shaadi Bhagya’ ‘Matru Poorna’, ‘Ksheera Bhagya’, ‘Pashu Bhagya’, ‘Mythri’, ‘Manswini’ and ‘Anila Bhagya’ have made positive impact voters mind. ‘Indira Canteen’, a subsidized government food distribution center across the state have also created a positive vibe about the ruling party.

But the same government also has earned some bad reputation as well. Its heavily apparent left-leaning stand on several fronts has made a severe dent on some part of its traditional vote bank.

After the 2014 general elections victory, the BJP wave unleashed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party president Amit Shah crushed Congress and its allies in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Assam, Goa, Manipur, Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujrat.

For them, Karnataka is one of the very few states that needs to be conquered. Both the modern ‘Chandragupta Maurya’ and ‘Chankya’ of the Indian electoral battle exactly know how important it is to win the ‘Battle Royale.’

Modi and Shah thought that without Yeddyurappa, BJP in no way has a chance to win the Karnataka elections and keeping aside all their ‘ethical rules’, they projected him as their chief ministerial candidate before the start of the election campaign. Though both of them do not appear to like him personally, they know that leaving him out will cost the BJP’s prospects in Karnataka very badly. After the BJP’s victorious march in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal and Gujrat, it looked like they will easily conquer Karnataka as well. But this is not easy.

Sensing the danger in advance, Siddaramaih played two major aces - ‘Lingayat’ and ‘Kannada Pride’. Both became the master strokes. Proposing a separate religion status to the Lingayats, a community which is very much part of the Hindu religion but following the principles of the 12 th century social reformed Basavanna was aimed at aimed at breaking the major support base of the BJP.

It has caused confusion among the community which forms 9.8% of the total voters in the state caused a rift between he ‘Lingayat’ and the ‘Veera Shaivas’ and it is a master political game by Siddaramaiah.

Geographically, Karnataka voted in a specific way from last three assembly elections. The southern part of Karnataka is dominated by Vokkaliga voters and they are the major support shared by the Congress and the JD(S). Vokkaliga voters have always played a decisive role in their belt. Whereas Bengaluru urban always tilted towards the BJP and the Congress. Coastal Karnataka is also favorable for both the BJP and the Congress.

The Central and the North Karnataka is dominated by the Lingayat voters and in  2008 they played a key role in the BJP’s victory. At that time, the Yeddyurappa factor made an enormous difference. Both the Lingayat and Veerashaiva sects voted for a united Lingayat leader Yeddyurappa.

But this time, Siddaramaiah created three more strong Lingayat leaders, namely two cabinet ministers M B Patil, Vinay Kulkarni and a former bureaucrat S M Jamdaar to counter the Yeddyurappa factor. This trio executed the plan very well and the BJP in the state has got its lifetime hock.

Before the battle began, the BJP almost lost the ground in the Lingayat belt. Even if half of the Lingayat votes add to the Congress traditional vote bank, along with the 30.5 % of SC and Muslim votes, the game will tilt heavily in favor of the Congress. Sensing the backlash, the Modi-Shah pair strategically tried to push Yeddyurappa towards the periphery and bring a hard-core Hindutva propaganda man Anant Kumar Hegde, sitting Karwar MP and a minister of state in the union government to the forefront.

If we look into the current scenario, it looks like the battle is getting tough for the both the big parties. Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi have jumped into the battlefield in the hot April summer. Will that make a difference? Will Rahul’s innocence can take over the Modi’s magic and retain the Congress Government in Karnataka or BJP’s victory march will continue and ‘Maurya & Chankaya’ Jodi will conquer Karnataka? Tricky to give a perfect answer at this moment, because the former prime minister, and 24x7 politician H D Deve Gowda, the old horse, is silently watching both of them, sitting at his Padmanabh Nagar home in South Bengaluru.Four arrested for molesting minor in Bihar

Patna (IANS): Four persons in Bihar’s Jehanabad district have been arrested for molesting a minor girl, the video of which went viral on social sites, police said on Monday.

The video, captured by a local, shows the girl being hounded and molested by a group of youths in broad daylight. The incident took place on Saturday, the police said.

Jehanabad’s Superintendent of Police Manish Kumar said a Special investigation team (SIT) arrested four of the accused. “Others have been identified and a hunt is on to arrest them,” he said. The SIT also siezed a motorbike seen in the video.

According to police official Shayam Sundar Singh, an FIR was lodged against seven people involved in the case.

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