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:
An overwhelmingly positive string of results in the elections in the north east, especially in Tripura, have come as a timely boost to the BJP in Karnataka. "It is now clear that Karnataka will also reject Congress for its corruption and divisive politics unleashed by Siddaramaiah," BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa claimed.
Attacking the Congress, BJP's Karnataka election in-charge and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, mocked its president Rahul Gandhi. Referring to the series of loses under his leadership, the BJP leaders claimed that Rahul's visit to the poll-bound state puts the BJP at an advantage.
The BJP went on the offensive with multiple padayatras across several districts in the state. Focusing on Bengaluru, BJP leaders carried out padayatras titled Bengaluru Rakshisi (save Bengaluru) blaming the Congress for the city's deplorable condition.
In response, CM Siddaramaiah said that instead of the Congress, the city needed protection from the BJP. He took a dig at BJP and said that the party gave out 'midnight tenders' and turned Bengaluru from Garden City to Garbage City.
The Congress and BJP also got mired in a 'photoshop' feud with the Congress blaming BJP for using pothole and garbage pictures from Nepal and passing it off as pictures from Bengaluru. The BJP retaliated by pointing out that the picture of the Solar plant in Pavagada, Tumakuru posted by the Congress was from a plant in Turkey.
Meanwhile, JD(S) announced its own padayatra in constituencies across Bengaluru starting on Tuesday. Party leaders will take to the streets to highlight the achievements of the JD(S) government in the past, while pointing out lapses by Congress and BJP.
AAP is contesting from Karnataka for the first time. Party workers have conducted door-to-door campaigns in various constituencies in the city.