Karnataka will soon be facing the assembly elections. Looking at the results of the recent elections of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat and the dream of BJP to paint India saffron, everybody has their eyes next on Karnataka. Currently, Congress is the ruling party and Siddramiah is the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, it seems like BJP is on a drive to accomplish a Congress Mukt Bharat and establish a one party rule in India. But over the period of four years of his rule, the Modi wave is gradually fading away. Though, it will be wrong to predict so soon, the results of Karnataka elections. Both BJP and Congress are working day night for the election campaigning trying to lure in as many voters as possible ahead of the code of conduct.
According to some media reports, ministers of different parties, to establish their connection and lure in the public have already started giving out freebies. The candidates who will be contesting the elections are distributing things to the root level workers. There has been news about the distribution of luring things at many constituencies in Bangalore as well. Many citizens received a huge box with the picture of sitting MLA Satishreddy printed on it. Commenting on the distribution of things by the likely candidates some people said, “We were surprised when people associated with certain political parties started becoming active in our area. This was not the case earlier.”
Karnataka results can hold an important impact on the general elections due in 2019. Also, it has been the only state in the south, where BJP could establish its rule. While BJP is claiming to reclaim the power again this time, the Siddramiah government is also pretty confident about their win. During the election campaign, both BJP and Congress have played the game of allegation and counter allegations, from practising communal politics to political murders, everything was opened and debated over during the campaigns.
Recently, addressing a rally in Shimoga (Karnataka), Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, pulled down on Chief Minister Siddramiah and the ruling Congress government in Karnataka. He said that the people of Karnataka were not happy with the rule of Siddramiah and want to change the government.
In his statement to the media, on Monday night, Shah said, “Throughout the day I have met farmers, saints and BJP party workers from 30 constituencies.People of Karnataka are unhappy with Siddaramaiah government and it is very much visible that people are looking for a change.” While speaking to the media he accused Congress party of playing the policy of divide and rule to win the upcoming assembly elections. “There are lots of question among Karnataka’s people for the Siddaramaiah government and to run away from those questions, the Congress party will now apply ‘divide and rule’ politics. The Congress government is now trying to win the elections on the basis of divide and rule policy, but the people of Karnataka knows this tactic of Congress very well,” he said.
Earlier also during the campaign, pulling down on the chief minister of Karnataka, BJP Party President Amit Shah commented that “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is the only socialist leader who wears a wristwatch worth Rs.40 lakhs.This watch is an evidence of his corruption.”
Meanwhile, the parties are engaged in playing blame games and luring the voters, there have some rumours regarding the EVM machines that will be used during the elections. There have been allegations that EVM machines can be tampered and hence the people of Karnata are worried about this possibility hampering the choosing of their candidate. However, the election commission board authorities have assured that the EVMs cannot be tampered. Addressing a workshop for media persons, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said, “EVMs cannot be tampered with and there are adequate technical and administrative safeguards in place.It is a proven machine being used since 1999 and it is highly secure.”
Amidst all the acquisitions of both the parties, there is something more that has made it to the headlines. Ahead of the announcement of the election date by the Election Commission, the dates were leaked. This came to light when BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted the dates, before the announcement. However, later giving an explanation, writing a clarification to the election board, he claimed that he got the information from “news break put out by Times Now.” Also pulling down on the ruling party he added that, Karnataka Congress’s social media in-charge Srivatsa YB, had also tweeted the same dates.
Coming in support of the BJP minister, another party member Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, after meeting the EC said that,”Amit Malviya’s tweet was based on the information flashed on a TV channel. It had no intention to undermine the stature of the Election Commission.
A Karnataka Congress leader had also tweeted the same thing. We agree that Malviya shouldn’t have tweeted it.” The ruling party, not missing the opportunity to take a jibe on the opposition, also made few more allegations. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said alleged that there is collusion between BJP and the Election Commision and the proof is the tweet of Malviya. “Amit Malviya tweeted Karnataka elections dates at 11 am. It means BJP is dictating polling dates to Election Commission. I expect EC to work according to the Constitution and law, and not let information leak.”
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress Leader and the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee also accused the BJP-led NDA government of “using and misusing” all agencies, including the Election Commission. In her statement to the media, Banerjee said, “All agencies are being used and misused. All institutions are becoming BJP institutions,”
Responding to the situation of the leaked data, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) OP Rawat said, “Certain things may have leaked for which the body will take action.” EC has set up a committee to look into the matter and submit the report in seven days as to how the information got leaked.
Assembly elections in Karnataka will be held on 12 May 2018, in a single phase. With the announcement of the elections dates on Tuesday, the model code of conduct has come into effect, which bars all the political parties and ministers to announce any new schemes before the elections. The counting of votes will take place on 15 May and most likely the results will be announced the same day. Other important dates regarding the elections are, last day to submit the nomination is 24 April 2018, scrutiny of the nominations will be done on 25 April 018, the last date to withdraw the nominations is 27 April 2018.
Congress has fielded incumbent Chief Minister Siddramiah as its candidate and BJP has chosen former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa to contest the polls for the topmost post in Karnataka. Other than BJP and Congress, JD(S) will also be competing the polls. Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda will be the JD(S) contender.