Karnataka polls will be battle of communalism vs secularism: Siddaramaiah

Frederick Owens
January 14, 2018

Parameshwara was in the national capital to attend a meeting called by Gandhi to review the party's preparedness and discuss its strategy with senior leaders in the run-up to the Karnataka polls.

Karnataka will go to polls later this year with the tenure of the current state assembly ending in May.

The travel plan was decided at a strategy meeting chaired by Rahul on Saturday which was attended by all senior Congress leaders from Karnataka, including chief minister Siddaramaiah.

He also denied that there was an anti-incumbency factor for the Congress and said the party would retain power in the southern state by winning the polls with a "comfortable majority".

Following the meeting, Mr Siddaramaiah said, "Mr Gandhi is very happy with the functioning of the government".

Our government is not facing any anti-incumbency.

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Referring to the statement made by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah against RSS, BJP and Bajrang Dal, Mr. Anant Kumar said Mr. Siddaramaiah does not know constitutional fundamentals.

Venugopal said the leaders gave an assurance that they would all work united for the success of the party in the Assembly elections. "The entire effort of Siddaramaiah to issue such a controversial statement is to create enmity and hatred among people and against the BJP", it added. Similarly, other parties are also up to some mischief or the other.

Even the Hindutva issue raised by BJP president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were not a matter of concern for the Congress, he claimed.

Reacting strongly to the remarks, the state BJP had accused Siddaramaiah of desperately trying to polarise elections on communal lines "by calling BJP-RSS terror organisations". "He told the leaders that the party should treat all communities equally, recalling that remarks like neech had an adverse impact on the Congress in Gujarat", sources said.

Gandhi would start his Karnataka tour from Bengaluru and also travel to the other parts of the state, he said, adding, "Various programmes have been lined up on all three days".

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