Political Temperature Rises in Karnataka Ahead of Second Phase of Assembly Elections

Karnataka's political landscape heats up as BJP and Congress clash over issues like Muslim property survey and free bus travel for women. The state's assembly elections are seen as a precursor to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, with high stakes for both parties.

Rafia Tasleem
New Update
Political Temperature Rises in Karnataka Ahead of Second Phase of Assembly Elections

Political Temperature Rises in Karnataka Ahead of Second Phase of Assembly Elections

The political temperature in Karnataka is rising as the state prepares for the second phase of the assembly elections. Key issues ranging from a Muslim property survey to the introduction of the Shakti scheme for free bus travel for women and girl students have taken center stage in the political discourse.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accused the Congress party of planning to distribute wealth to Muslims through their manifesto, categorizing all Muslim citizens as "usurpers of the nation's wealth." Manithaneya Makkal Katchi president M.H. Jawahirullah has written to the Chief Election Commissioner, seeking Modi's disqualification and a ban on his campaign for his "vicious and insidious speech" that amounts to a "call for violence against the Muslims." Jawahirullah has accused the Election Commission of being "complicit with the BJP" and urged it to take immediate action against Modi.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has dismissed Modi's remarks suggesting that the Congress party intended to take away personal wealth, including gold and mangalsutras. Vadra highlighted the sacrifices made by her family for the nation and questioned the validity of such claims during the Congress's 50-year tenure. She also criticized PM Modi's silence on issues concerning women and accused him of using the mangalsutra issue to scare women into voting out of fear.

Meanwhile, the Congress government in Karnataka launched the Shakti scheme on June 11, 2023, providing free bus travel for women and girl students in the state. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah released the logo of the scheme and the smart card in pink color. MA Jayashree, a first-year law student, presented a garland made of free bus tickets to the Chief Minister as a gesture of gratitude for the initiative.

Why this matters: The Karnataka assembly elections are being closely watched as they are seen as a precursor to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The political rhetoric and key issues raised during the campaign are likely to shape the national political discourse in the coming months.

As the second phase of the elections approaches, both the BJP and the Congress are intensifying their campaigns. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi are set to hold rallies and roadshows in various parts of the state today. The Congress has also staged a protest against the alleged discrimination by the Centre on drought relief to Karnataka. The Supreme Court has reminded the Centre and Karnataka about the need to amicably resolve differences that arise in a federal structure.

The Dakshina Kannada constituency is expected to be a closely contested seat, with the BJP facing anti-incumbency after holding it for eight consecutive terms. The Congress is hoping to capitalize on the sentiments of anti-incumbency and the polarization of the Muslim vote, which accounts for 21.8 lakh voters in the constituency. As the political temperature continues to rise, the outcome of the Karnataka assembly elections will have significant implications for the future of Indian politics.

Key Takeaways

  • Karnataka assembly elections see rising political tensions.
  • PM Modi accuses Congress of favoring Muslims, drawing criticism.
  • Congress launches Shakti scheme for free bus travel for women.
  • Dakshina Kannada constituency is a closely contested seat.
  • Karnataka elections seen as precursor to 2024 Lok Sabha polls.