JD(S) complains to EC on CM’s appeal on caste lines

Monday also saw Kumaraswamy appealing to the Muslim community to show unity

The Janata Dal (Secular) has complained to the Election Commission (EC) over Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s appeal to Veerashaiva-Lingayats to vote for the BJP and not for other parties. He had made such an appeal on Saturday.

The party said in its complaint that it was a clear violation of the model code of conduct. In a complaint filed with the office of the Chief Election Officer here on Monday, the party said that the Chief Minister’s speech was to “appease voters on caste lines.”

Interestingly, JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy too on Sunday had urged the Vokkaligas to consolidate in response to Mr. Yediyurappa’s appeal.

On Monday, Mr. Kumaraswamy made an appeal to Muslims. “The Chief Minister has been misusing the Veerashaiva community and its religious leaders. If he is seeking only Veerashaiva-Lingayat votes, does it mean the party does not want votes from other communities? All communities should be respected,” he said, addressing a rally at Kamalapura in Vijayanagar constituency where the party has fielded former Minister N.M. Nabi. “Should you [Muslims] not show unity? You decide,” Mr. Kumaraswamy told the Muslim voters in the constituency.

Appealing to the voters, he said: “Muslims, for the first time, did not vote for the JD(S) after Congress’s statement that we were B team of the BJP and voting for us was like voting for the BJP. That is why the BJP won 105 seats. Otherwise, JD(S) would have won 65 seats and this situation would not have arisen.”

Claiming that he had not used caste in politics, the former Chief Minister said that though 75% or about 1.2 lakh voters in Mahalakshmi Layout comprised Vokkaliga voters, the party had fielded a Lingayat candidate to show that the party was for North Karnataka and also not anti-Lingayats.

Shobha’s appeal

Meanwhile, BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje on Monday appealed to voters to think beyond caste and religion while exercising their franchise in the ensuing byelections to 15 Assembly constituencies.

She claimed that the BJP was not confined to caste and religion.

“We want to unite everyone in the country,” she said. She appealed to voters to support the B.S. Yediyurappa government by ensuring victory of the BJP candidates in the byelections so that Karnataka could get the benefit of having governments of the same party both at the Centre and the State.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 1:20:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/jds-complains-to-ec-on-cms-appeal-on-caste-lines/article30079546.ece

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