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Congress in tight corner

Congress in tight corner
Highlights

Karnataka conundrums are really peculiar. The date of polling is fast approaching and yet the ruling party is attempting to unearth new weapons to take on the Narendra Modi onslaught desperately. For Karnataka watchers, the tussle is getting curiouser every day.

Karnataka conundrums are really peculiar. The date of polling is fast approaching and yet the ruling party is attempting to unearth new weapons to take on the Narendra Modi onslaught desperately. For Karnataka watchers, the tussle is getting curiouser every day.

Whatever the ruling party planned with Siddaramaiah’s acumen seems to have gone awry. The Congress government has undertaken several measures to ensure its success. Among those were withdrawal of cases against some members of the minority community was one.

Next was a carefully crafted ‘Hail Tipu’ policy. With his high command’s blessings, Sidda threw full force behind it accusing those criticising the same as Hindutva forces. He also refused to ban PFI, a radical outfit under close watch of the investigating agencies. He picked up on the Lingayat issue lending minority status to them treating it as a separate religion.

Kannada identity and Kannada flag were the other issues that he brought into play. Regressive language policies have been encouraged by him protesting against usage of Hindi signages on the Metro services. Then he attempted to bring the murder of Gauri Lankesh and Kalburgi into play. But, is Sidda sure of winning the elections? That is the beauty of Karnataka.

One cannot predict that easily the real divisions vis-à-vis the aspirations of the people. Why would a Mahadayi river dispute impactee vote the same way as a Central Kannadiga? Or the young aspirational class or the upwardly mobile youth of Bengaluru vote the way a Mysuru farmer does? Even Cauvery issue which has been touted as a ‘victory for Karnataka when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the State is not helping the Congress much it seems.

And now comes the latest blow to the party’s plans in Karnataka with the Pakistan government wading into the uncharted territory which is seen as illogical, immaterial and irrelevant. But by hailing Tipu Sultan as a great king, the Pakistan government has surely done a great favour to the BJP. Modi is not the one to lose the opportunity. And if now onwards, he lashes out at the Congress for the ‘Paki help’, Rahul will have no place to hide.

In fact, the result of Karnataka should bother the Congress more than the BJP. If the Congress loses it, its last bastion would have fallen. Because of the hype that the Congress has created around Karnataka and its win, its defeat would strengthen Modi’s image further. In Gujarat too, it was Pakistan that hit the nail on the Congress’s head.

If the same repeats here, this could make all the difference between a victory and defeat because the domineering question would now be why did the Pakis praise Tipu now. Is it an indirect message to Indian minorities to vote for the Congress? Our minorities our Indians not Pakistanis’ even if the Congress is unaware of it.

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