Byelections: Leaders talk of restraint, but tirades continue

With bypoll fever escalating in Hangal and Sindgi Assembly constituencies in north Karnataka, there was much talk by political leaders about restraint in public comments. The who’s who of all political parties are currently camping in north Karnataka and the last few days have seen them making personal attacks on each other.

During his campaign in villages of Hangal segment, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he would not respond to comments by Congress leaders. He said the BJP would register victory in both the segments by “winning over the hearts of the people” without indulging in any arguments and focusing only on what his government had done.

Moments later, he mocked Congress leaders, particularly the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s concern for north Karnataka citing the example of the delayed start of government medical college in Haveri. He went on to mock KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar for his allegation on use of money power.

‘Exposing BJP’

Mr. Shivakumar, who is campaigning in the same constituency, said he would not make comments on individuals as senior political leaders have held constitutional positions earlier. He said stress during the campaign was on exposing the BJP’s false claims on disbursement of compensation and other unkept promises. And focus was also on highlighting the good work done by the Congress and its candidate.

Meanwhile, Mr. Siddaramaiah continued his tirade against BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel calling him a “joker” for his earlier controversial remarks on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. He said when there were no real issues to debate, such derogatory remarks surface.

‘₹2,000 per vote’

Mr. Siddaramaiah also alleged that there were reports about the BJP using money power to win the elections. “There are reports that the BJP is pumping in lot of money to win the elections and paying ₹2,000 per vote,” he said.

He said the BJP had made several promises to various communities, which remained unfulfilled and it was the right time for people to register their dissent by voting against the party as it had made their life miserable.

Yet again, Mr. Siddaramaiah questioned the secular credentials of the Janata Dal (Secular) and said it warned that the party would ultimately join hands with the BJP.

Campaigning in Sindgi, the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy accused the BJP government of making money by allowing betting rackets to run. Attacking Mr. Siddaramaiah, Mr. Kumaraswamy said he did not require any certificate from the latter on the secular credentials of the JD(S).

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:54:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/byelections-leaders-talk-of-restraint-but-tirades-continue/article37117721.ece

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