Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Political temperatures on the rise as poll date approaches in Karnataka

Party not allowed to campaign freely in Karnataka BJP Representational image
Diane Mills | 25 April, 2018, 15:57

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday released its fourth list of seven candidates for the May 12 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.

The JD (S) leaders also took dig at the Chief Minster Siddaramaiah for deciding to move to Badami for an electoral contest only after he realised that he would certainly lose Chamundeshwari seat.

Siddaramaiah has also filed nomination on April 20 from Chamundeshwari in Mysuru and Sreeramulu from Molakramuru (reserved/ST) from Chitradurga district.

BJP has chose to make Badami tough for Siddaramaiah and, in a last minute move, the party announced Sriramulu as its candidate. Karnataka, a very important State in the BJP's game plan for its southward expansion goes to polls on May 12. BJP has made peace with awarding tickets to those tainted by graft charges like the Reddys of Bellary, but scored a political point by not obliging dynastic politics like Congress.

However, BJP leaders across the state are confident that it has turned a corner since the 2013 "humiliation" and are predicting that the BJP will even win the 113 seats required to form a majority in the Karnataka assembly.

Days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Karnataka to campaign for the upcoming election, the Congress has accused him of protecting the accused in the iron ore mining scam. The Congress was banking on Siddaramaiah to mobilize support across the state, he added.

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The Chief Minister also dismissed the allegation that Janata Dal (Secular) elements were more powerful in the Congress.

The chief minister was accompanied by Congress working president SR Patil and sitting MLA Chimmanakatti, among others, as he filed his papers.

The Congress, too, was rattled as former minister MH Ambareesh declined the party ticket from Mandya. Yeddyurappa is the BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate.

According to sources, Yeddyurappa's son Vijayendra's candidacy from Varuna constituency was opposed by many within his own party.

Sriramulu belongs to the Nayak community and the BJP is eyeing both the Lingayat and Nayak votes in Badami. "The election in this state is akin to the battle of Mahabharata, between the Pandavas and the Kauravas".

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