Congress campaign to be woven around ‘anarha’ tag


Party to dissuade voters from supporting ‘undeserving’ candidates

While the ruling BJP is now going into the bypolls with all guns blazing — with the release of additional funds and projects to constituencies represented by disqualified legislators already accomplished — the Congress is set to make the court upholding disqualification itself as the tag line for campaigning in the 15 constituencies ahead of December 5.

Though many considered the Supreme Court’s verdict on upholding the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs and simultaneously allowing them to contest elections as a “balancing act”, the court’s former decision is likely to embarrass the rebel legislators during the run-up to the campaign.

Expected narrative

On the lines of ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign of the BJP in 2019, the Congress is expected to develop its narrative around ‘Anarha Shasakaru’ (disqualified legislators) to dissuade the electorate from supporting the turncoat candidates who are all set to contest on BJP ticket after joining the party on Thursday.

It is expected that the BJP, on its part, would use its “development” plank — the number of projects and funds — sanctioned to constituencies after the formation of the Yediyurappa government. The Congress would also attempt to delegitimise the BJP government’s decision to sanction extra funds and projects specifically to 15 constituencies.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah hailed the court’s order calling it a “moral victory” and said the verdict was an acknowledgement that the rebels connived with the BJP, and their resignations were not “voluntary and genuine”, he said.

On poll outcome

Commenting on this reading by the Congress, Valerian Rodrigues, former political science professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said: “The Congress has seen the upholding of disqualification as its victory, but whether it will translate into a victory at the hustings is a different matter.” He added that the court upholding the right to contest elections afresh and not wait for the entire term of the legislature “suggests an interesting interpretation of the anti-defection law”.

P.S. Jayaramu, former political science professor of Bangalore University, said the larger question is whether they will win even if they are given ticket to contest on BJP ticket. “Given the voter dissatisfaction in many constituencies, there are doubts,” he said.

Candidates by weekend

The Congress, which has named candidates for eight of the 15 constituencies, has been finding it difficult to identify winnable nominees in seven segments — Athani, Kagwad, Gokak (all Belagavi), Vijayanagara (Ballari), Yeshwantpur, Shivajinagar (all in Bengaluru), and K.R. Pet (Mandya).

Since Monday is the last day for filing nominations, the party is expected to announce its candidates by the weekend.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 11:04:38 AM |

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