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:
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will make his third visit to Karnataka in the run up to the Assembly Elections. He will be touring coastal Karnataka districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikmagaluru and JD(S) stronghold of Hassan on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Congress state leadership is in a damage control mode over 'money for ticket' tweet by party veteran Veerappa Moily’s son, Harsha Moily. The party issued a show cause notice to Harsha on Saturday. The controversial tweet which was promptly deleted was tweeted by the official handles of the both son and father.
Cashing in on the controversial tweet, the BJP reiterated their allegations of the ruling Congress government being corrupt and indulging in 'kickback' politics.
Just ahead of the elections, former MLA and pro-Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj has announced that he is forming his own party ahead of the Assembly Elections in the state. Karnataka Praja Samyukta Ranga will work with pro-Kannada organisations, regional Dalit and farmers’ organisations, he said.
Former DySP Anupama Shenoy also confirmed that her newly-launched Bharatiya Janashakti Congress (BJC) will contest 15 Legislative Assembly seats in the upcoming state polls. The party’s symbol is a ladies finger.
Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayareddi meanwhile courted controversy over his comments that officers can be transferred within nine days if the government wants. The minister's comments come at a time when the Congress government in Karnataka is facing flak for transferring officials barely six months into their tenure
In a renewed effort to connect with the state's farmers ahead of the elections, the BJP has said that 6,000 of its party workers will collect a fistful of rice from the state's farmers and promise them better conditions if they are voted to power.
The JD(S), meanwhile, has approached the Karnataka High Court seeking disqualification of seven of their rebel MLAs in hopes of securing a victory for its sole Rajya Sabha candidate, BM Farooq, in the upcoming polls on March 23.