In the run up to the biggest election of 2018, TNM brings you Poll Watch every Monday and Thursday.

Karnataka poll watch Amit Shah visits mutt minority status for Lingayats and more
news Karnataka 2018 Monday, March 26, 2018 - 17:59

Assembly polls in Karnataka are just months away, and the current Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state will finish its full term of five years on May 28 – a feat no party has managed since 1985. But will the Congress manage to fight anti-incumbency in the one of the few states it governs in India following the Modi wave? Will the Yeddyurappa-led BJP pull off a win in the state under Amit Shah’s watchful eye? And will HD Kumaraswamy’s JD(S) get to a position where they can play kingmaker in Karnataka once again?

In the run up to the biggest election of 2018, TNM brings you Poll Watch every Monday and Thursday. It will be your one stop shop for all the updates on the campaigns, manifestos, and politicking ahead of the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections.

Here are this week’s updates:

  • On Monday, BJP National President Amit Shah paid a visit to Swami Shivakumara of the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru. The move comes after the Congress government issued a notification according minority status to Lingayats and Veerashaivas who follow Basava Tatva. Shah’s tour in central Karnataka next week includes visits to several Dalit and Lingayat mutts.
  • The Congress won three seats and the opposition BJP won a single seat in the Rajya Sabha biennial election on Friday. All three Congress nominees – L Hanumanthaiah, Syed Naseer Hussain and GC Chandrasekhar – and BJP’s Rajeev Chandrasekhar were elected to the Upper House.
  • Seven Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) MLAs resigned from the party on Saturday, a day after they said they voted for the Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls. They are now set to join the Congress ahead of the elections.
  • On Friday, the Karnataka government granted minority status to Lingayats and Veerashaivas who believe in Basava Tatva. The notification follows an earlier decision by the state government to recommend a separate religion tag for the community.
  • While the Lingayat community hailed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s decision to accord it minority status, BJP leaders and several Veerashaiva leaders in the Congress, including Minister for Horticulture and Agro Marketing Shamanur Shivashankarappa, opposed the move.
  • BJP leaders in Karnataka claimed that the Congress was trying to divide the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community only for the purpose of gathering votes for the upcoming election.
  • “Siddaramaiah might face the ire of the Veerashaiva Lingayat community and he may find it difficult to travel across the state if the Veerashaiva Mahasabha takes a decision to gherao him over the issue,” BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa said.
  • Aam Aadmi Party has become the second party after the JD(S) to announce its first list of 18 candidates for the upcoming elections.
  • In a bid to appease the Vokkaliga community, AICC President Rahul Gandhi, during his visit to Malavalli, attacked the JD(S) by calling it “BJP’s B-Team”. Taking on the JD(S) on its own turf – Old Mysuru, Gandhi said, “Earlier ‘S’ in JD(S) stood for secular, but in this election they have got a new name – Janata Dal Sangh Parivar.”



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