Vicky Nanjappa

Journalism for Vertebrates®

The story so far in Karnataka: Will it be caste or anti-incumbency?

The game in Karnataka is constantly evolving, with opinion polls throwing up all sorts of results.

The question is whether the Congress can wrest power from the ruling BJP which has been beaten by the anti-incumbency bug. The state of Karnataka has for the past 30 years not voted for the same party twice in a row. While it is yet to be seen whether the semi-retirement of pan-Karnataka BJP leader Yediyurappa would have any effect on the polls, the party is however heavily reliant on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who still has a few rallies left in the state.

However post the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the Congress has known to let itself slip. While the campaign was looking very good for the party, it has slipped post the release of its manifesto. In the manifesto, the Congress spoke about banning groups such as the Bajrang Dal. This has turned the tide in favour of the BJP, which has now gone to town stating that the Congress is anti-Hindutva. There were quick rebuttals by the Congress, which said that it never claimed to ban the Bajrang Dal. Congress leader and former chief minister of Karnataka, Veerappa Moily had to issue a clarification and even said that the president of the Congress party in the state, D K Shivakumar would further clarify on the issue.

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