Tejasvi Surya should upgrade “Bangalore South” to his “New Bangalore” model

Mr Tejasvi Surya brings a new hope to the voters of Bangalore South that some thing new can happen here if we elect him. But he is up against some challenges which he needs to negotiate effectively to come up victorious.

The candidature of Mr Tejasvi Surya was announced late and he has very little time to go around the constituency and establish rapport with the people. Many of the voters who were interviewed by a channel did say, “We have not even seen his face”.

The first requirement is therefore to make his face familiar to the voters of the constituency.

Apart from Mr Surya himself taking out a rally, we need volunteers to hold placards in every street corner and also go around in a beat in different streets so that no voter in the constituency complains that he does not know the face of Mr Tejasvi.

Secondly, the Bangalore south MP constituency consists of some assembly segments that are being held by opposition parties. Some of the voters feel that they are satisfied with the work done by the local MLA and there is no reason why they should not vote for the Congress/JDS candidate.

It is therefore necessary for Mr Tejasvi to adopt a twin strategy where by

a) He rides on the Modi factor and

b) At the same time develop a local focus to counter the opponents who draw their strength from being in the local politics for some time.

To some extent, the local leaders of BJP can help him in making up for his lack of local political visibility. But it appears that Mrs Tejasvini is still nursing her disappointment and finding it difficult to come out and openly support Mr Tejasvi.

Hence Mr Tejasvi needs to manage without the wholehearted support of the Anantakumar supporters. I expect that they would come around in the last few days of the campaign but it may be too late to make any difference at that time.

While BJP will pursue its “Vote for Tejasvi is a Vote for Modi to be the PM again”,  principle, this may not be sufficient to win the election in Bangalore South this time.

The biggest strength of the opposition is that there is a local Government which has not yet acquired any anti incumbency tag and enjoys the Caste and Anti Modi Vote consolidation benefit.

Hence if the election is fought predominantly on local issues, it will be difficult for Mr Tejasvi to win over the assembly segments in which the local MLA may have a good reputation.

We heard some voters expressing their satisfaction of local MLAs in Hanumanta Nagar, Deepanjali Nagar etc.  If we follow the trend of campaigning in Mandya and elsewhere, it is clear that this election will have a huge local issue impact which is not to the liking of BJP.

Everywhere it will be whether Deve Gowda and his family are dominating the State, whether the candidate is a Vokkaliga or Kuruba etc. These are all local issues which will have a powerful impact to neutralize the larger national issues. While the elite may discuss the national security, the Pakistani leanings of Rahul Gandhi etc, these may not be factors on which the voters will take a decision.

Build a Local Narrative

Hence Mr Tejasvi needs to build a “Local Narrative” in addition to whatever is being done now.

I feel that Mr Tejasvi has some idea in his mind but has not been able to structure, formulate  and express it within the short time that is now available. In one of the recent discussion he used the term “New Bangalore” (Hosa Bengaluru). Here in lies the opportunity to bring a focus to the local issues within the national election.

When Modi introduced the “Smart City” concept, Bangalore was supposed to be the obvious choice to lead the “Smart City Campaign”. But it was unable to take the lead. During the last Yeddyurappa Government, Bangalore I had promoted a concept of Bangalore to be declared the “Cyber Security Capital” as an upgradation of the “Silicon City” or “IT Capital” etc. Had this been done, Bangalore would have been in a different orbit by now.

Of late Bangalore has even lost its place as a preferred place for setting up new projects/Startups. Other cities including Chennai or Hyderabad or Pune or Noida appear to have taken the lead.

Even the concept of “World Capital for Dispute Resolution  for IT Industry” which was promoted with some of the local Government agencies did not find traction because the politicians did not have the vision. This would have pitted Bangalore against Singapore in perception of IT development.

These were all the missed opportunities for Bangalore to grow in the last 5 years of Modi Government when the local Government pursued a policy of hatred towards Mr Modi.

Now the opportunity is before Mr Tejasvi to take up the “Mission-New Bangalore” which should make Bangalore “Smarter and  Better Bengaluru”.

The goal should be to use technology for a better life for citizens in Bangalore.

There is a lot of potential in

a making Bangalore Garbage Free with the introduction of schemes for converting garbage to organic manure,

b) improve the traffic management with smart traffic lights,

c) improve water supply perhaps with better effluent management system in big housing complexes,

d) make the frothing lakes look watery once again and so on.

I therefore request Mr Tejasvi to release his own short plan of action for “Mission-New Bangalore” and adopt “Bangalore South Constituency” or even a smaller part it it such as the “Basavanagudi” as a model area in which some of the concepts of the New Bangalore is implemented as a pilot project. Then this pilot project can be funded by the Central Government to be extended to the entire Bangalore City.

To start with, he has to declare his intention for this project, then if possible publish a few projects that may come to his mind immediately and then set up a Citizen Advisory Committee to take this further. All this can be done within the next two three days if he so desires so that its benefits can be taken for the current election.

I wish Mr Tejasvi would move in this direction instead of remaining complacent.

Naavi

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Congress IT Cell, for which the Mandya drop out girl Ramya was the head called out for fake news

 In an interesting news that has just broken out, Face Book has removed 687 pages supposedly connected with the Congress party for “Inappropriate Behaviour” indicates that the company has run some sort of analytics and found out that the owners of these pages were running their accounts in impersonated names and all of them were connected to the IT Cell of Indian National Congress and were using the pages to canvass for Congress.

Refer report here

Face Book has therefore accepted that today’s AI environment can be harnessed to at least identify some types of fake news and take proactive action. I am sure that more is possible.

Recently Naavi had raised this issue in his article in India Legal Magazine.

In this article, I had argued that Social Media companies are actually not interested in removing fake news because they are commercially beneficial to them. We have seen this tendency in ISPs who support pornography and spamming since they constitute a substantial part of data exchange on the Internet. Similarly WhatsApp can do a lot to reduce the duplication of data exchange if they really want, but obviously this does not make commercial sense. What has happened now with Face Book is therefore a positive development and must be appreciated.

A couple of month’s back, in a round table in Bangalore, Naavi had pointed out to Professor Rajiv Gowda  the spokesperson of Congress, (who was one of the participants,) that it was the political parties which were mainly responsible for the fake news. This stand has been vindicated in the current news break.

It must however be noted that Face Book has said that the removal of the pages is not because of the content but because of the attempt to hide identity. This issue is therefore not an issue of “Freedom of Expression” and hence Prashant Bhushan and his friends cannot run to the Supreme Court with their PILs.

Ms Divya Spandana, better known to Karnataka people as Actress Ramya who headed the Congress IT Cell may be credited with the origin of the tendency of Congress becoming a “Fake News Engine”. Mr Rahul Gandhi enjoys creating and spreading fake news and with the help of some media friends gets leverage to the fake news. Karnataka politicians  are  also slowly learning this art of making fake allegations on their political opponents and there are many Kannada websites and news channels who need to also take similar steps as what Face Book has taken.

It would therefore be interesting to see how this incident changes the social media usage in the next month going deeper into elections.

Naavi

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BJP Karnataka should realize its national responsibility

With the finalization of tickets for most of the 28 Loksabha constituencies in Karnataka, the next round of discussions in every party is who got the ticket and who missed the ticket and what will be the disappointed candidate do?… Will he sulk and withdraw from campaign? or Will he rebel and actively support an opposition candidate? or will he himself stand as a rebel candidate?.

This problem is not unique to one political party and every party including BJP is facing this problem. Starting with Bangalore South constituency where Mr Tejsasvi Surya  got the ticket ahead of Tejaswini Ananthakumar, it is reported that many other candidates some of them close to Mr Yeddyurappa have been denied tickets and are unhappy.

There is no doubt that candidates who for the last few weeks hoped to contest and were denied tickets would be disappointed. Since there is only one candidate who can stand for a party and there could be many claimants, disappointment to all the rejected candidates is natural and they need to spend some quiet time to get over the disappointment.

But the candidates should remember one thing. This election is not to show case whether Mr Yeddyurappa is a stronger or Eshwarappa is stronger or some body else. This election is purely whether Mr Modi has to be back as PM or Mr Rahul or Mr Chandrababu Naidu or Mamta Bannerjee or Akhilesh Yadav or Mayavati or some body else like Omar Abdulla should be the PM of India.

Unless every voter and every candidate and every party worker of BJP accepts this, there is no hope of the disssidence being suppressed or removed.

We must accept that Karnataka BJP has lacked cohesive leadership for quite some time and this has been the reason for it enabling a 37 member party becoming the ruling party in Karnataka. Had there been less dissidence, BJP would have garnered a comfortable majority in the last state election and prevented the JDS coming to power with the help of Congress.

Even before the elections, there was an opportunity for Mr Yeddyurappa to have retreated from CM’s post as a statesman and allowed some new face to be projected. he did not do so and perhaps there was reason for this since Mr Eshwarappa and R Ashok would have jumped in with their own claims. However, after failing to get the majority, there was another opportunity for Mr Yeddyurappa to assume an ideal position and retreat from CM claim and it would have given him a higher moral authority in the party than what he now enjoys. There is no doubt that he still enjoys majority support of BJP MLAs and perhaps even the workers. But it is only a strong leader who can sacrifice if such sacrifice could lead to betterment of all. Mr Yeddyurappa has not yet seem to have realized this and is still unhappy that he is not the CM of Karnataka and his recommended candidates are not being given tickets.

As regards Bangalore South, there was no logic for him to suggest only the name of Tejaswini Ananthakumar and not recommend a second choice. This was an attempt to restrict the choice of the party. Unfortunately the party has called the bluff and gone ahead with the choice of Mr Tejasvi which has its own benefits.

Just imagine how the common worker in the party would be enthused when a sincere party worker is recognized at an early age and given a ticket for this important constituency.

This is not to say that Tejaswini could not be a deserving candidate. It could have been. However Tejasvi can spend more time and energy in Delhi than Tejaswini who can still be an influential party member in the Karnataka circles. Who knows, since all leaders including Ashok, Somanna, and Yeddyurappa seem to be her supporters, she could be the next CM candidate in Karnataka or atleast an effective MLA.

I therefore urge all BJP workers to forget their disappointments in candidate selection and support the official candidate so that the tally of MPs in total increases.

They should learn from Kumaraswamy and D K Shivakumar who fancy themselves as “Pair of Bullocks” when in the past they were like the proverbial “Snake and the Mongoose”. We should  appreciate that they are able to forget the past though it is for self preservation.

The same self preservation instinct should be there for BJP workers also because divided they will strengthen the Devegowda-Siddaramaiah combine.

If the local BJP leaders of Karnataka donot realize their responsibilities, the voters will still vote for Modi and throw the local leaders out into the oblivion. If in the process, BJP has to lose some seats,so be it. The party discipline is more important than one or two seats which hinges on support of selfish leaders and their followers.

I therefore urge people like Tejaswini Ananthakumar to come out and take the lead in supporting Tejasvi Surya and thereby show maturity and leadership qualities that many of the older leaders lack.

Vijayashankar

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Are you aware you are voting for who has to be PM of India?

TV5, a channel in Kannada has been running an opinion collection drive among common citizens in Karnataka. Basic question that is being asked is “Whom do you want to vote in this election”? and “Why”?.

Most of the respondents have been indicating that they would vote for Mr Modi. Some students in Mangaluru when asked why not Rahul Gandhi? made a sarcastic remark “Will anybody give a diamond to a monkey?” (Mangana kaiyalli Maanikya kodtaara?).

However, when the channel contacted people in Mandya, many seem to indicate that they will vote for Kumaraswamy.

This indicates that while the city bread voters may have a proper perception that this election is for the Parliament and will determine the next Prime Minister of India, the Mandya election appears to be centered around the local issues and personalities.

The two candidates in the fray are Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Sumalatha Ambarish. Nikhil is the son of Kumaraswamy, the CM of Karnataka and is fighting on the JDS ticket. Sumalatha Ambarish is contesting as an independent supported by BJP. Officially Congress is supporting Nikhil Kumaraswamy.

When some of the voters indicate that they are voting for CM Kumaraswamy, it is clear that they donot know the importance of this election.  They donot know that a vote for Nikhil of JDS is  a vote to make Rahul the PM and a vote against Modi being the PM.

I want BJP to make it known to every voter in Mandya that the issue is not whether the son of CM Kumaraswamy should be supported or not but whether Rahul Gandhi has to be supported or not.

If BJP does not do this, then they will be failing in their duty.

I wish BJP to ask the followiing survey question to 100% of the voters of Mandya,

Are you aware you are voting for who has to be PM of India?

Are you aware that a Vote for JDS is a vote for Rahul Gandhi to be the PM of India?

Vijayashankar

 

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IT Raids in Karnataka

The IT raids that has happened today in Karnataka has exposed the underbelly in the H D Kumaraswamy Government. The CM and his Congress colleagues have taken to the street level agitation attacking the IT officials and abusing them in such language which places the CM and Mr Siddaramaiah in a very low light in the eyes of the electorate.

It is clear that the CM was aware of the raids yesterday itself and hence there was no surprise as far as he was concerned. The actual raids appear to have been restricted to some officials. There is no doubt that these officials are close to Mr Kumaraswamy because otherwise they would not be sitting as officials in key positions. Ever since this Government has come to power in Karnataka, all appointments have been under the strict control of the Gowda family. Hence any raid against an official is always against a “Close aide of the family”.

Unlike the criticism of the Congress and JDS, it has to be accepted that this time of the elections is the right time for the raid because during this time, the hidden cash would come out into circulation and would be in stock. Hence I consider that if the IT department wanted to conduct a raid, this was a good time.

According to one survey, by a TV channel, 62% respondents have expressed the opinion that the raids were not politically motivated. The attempt of the HDK and DKS to convert the raids as an election issue has therefore not succeeded. It will however continue to fill the media space for a few more days.

One dangerous trend seen in the context of this raid is that Mr HDK is behaving more and more like the Mamata Bannerjee and has become belligerent. Until now he was cool and was not using abusive words like Mr Siddaramaiah to criticise Mr Modi. But after his son Mr Nikhil stood for elections in Mandya and is facing a tough battle, he seems to have become nervous and in the coming days, we can see more indiscretion being committed.

It would be better if Mr HDK does not forget that he is the CM of the state and has to behave responsibly. He cannot openly threaten IT officials as he did today since his followers may carry it further and physically carry out attacks on the IT Staff.

The Election Commission has to warn the CM to be more discreet as otherwise he would be held responsible for any law and order problem that may arise on account of his utterances.

It is unfortunate that instead of discussing issues of Corruption, National Security etc, the narrative has shifted to the IT raids. Hopefully the discussion will come back to the real issues that should drive the elections as an election to chose the Prime Minister of India.

The focus on local issues is not good for BJP and it is in their interest that the narrative is shifted to Mr Modi Vs Rahul Gandhi and issues such as “Fight against Corruption”, “National Security” etc.

Naavi

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Mandya Election will be a test of democracy

Elections in the Mandya constituency in Karnataka has become a prestige battle for the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr HD Kumaraswamy.

The contest is between Mr Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the son of Mr Kumaraswamy and Anitha Kumaraswamy and Mrs Sumalatha Amabarsih the widow of the ex-Congress MP and well known film actor Mr Ambaraish. The constituency was earlier held by Mr Ambarish who expired recently on 24th November 2018.

Today we are seeing that two film actors Darshan and Yash who stood in support of Mrs Sumalatha are being targetted by the Chief Minister’s supporters by stoning the house of Mr Darshan and threatening them with action by Government agencies. One of the poor Auto walas who had put up Mr Darshan’s photo on his auto has also been targeted by vandalizing his auto. These incidents clearly show what kind of culture this candidate represents.

It is irrelevant that Mr Nikhil Kumarawamy first came to limelight through a midnight drunken attack on a hotel in Bangalore on 26th October 2006.   However, there is no FIR pending in this case  as per the affidavit filed. People in Mandya might have forgotten this incident and it may not be an election issue today.

Mr Ambarish himself was a successful and well loved actor though his performance as a Parliamentarian did not measure upto the required standard. He rarely participated in the parliamentary activities though he appears to have done lot of social work in his constituency and enjoys respect of the masses. Mr Ambarish started his film career as a villain but in later years turned a hero. But in real life he was a respected senior film personality and was always the go to man to resolve any crisis in the Kannada film industry.

Now his widow Sumalatha is contesting in Mandya. Congress to which Ambarish belonged  to, has given up this seat to JDS in its Coalition seat sharing arrangement and refused to give B Form to Sumalatha. She is therefore contesting as an independent. BJP is supporting her by not fielding its candidate. Many followers of Ambarish and many Congress workers are also supporting her.

Since this is a prestigious battle, the Chief Minister has taken it as his personal responsibility to campaign for his son and turned the constituency to a center of focus.

It is interesting to note that in a bid to confuse the voters, three other ladies with the same name as “Sumalatha” have been made to contest and also demand the same election symbols that Sumalatha Ambarish has requested.

All this shows that there will be a bitter battle in Mandya and all the dirty tricks that can be used in the election would be used. God knows what would happen if it is perceived that Mrs Sumalatha Ambarish may win. There could be other unfortunate strategies including getting the election countermanded through some means. People need to watch out.

Mr Kumaraswamy’s family is itself in the film industry for a long time and several strategies to attract attention of the public through film dialogues etc are being tried out. It is therefore fun time for the people of Mandya. But people of Mandya though living in villages, are not illiterates. They are politically savvy and are intelligent enough to know the difference between what is reality and what is drama.

It is therefore interesting to see how the people react to the campaign strategies of the Chief Minister and his son.

Whatever may be the prestige involved in the election, we urge the Chief Minister and his party not to resort to unethical political gimmicks to win the election. It could seriously erode the reputation of the Chief Minister personally and his family.

The results of this constituency would be a test of democracy and the entire country should keep watching.

Vijayashankar

 

Affidavit filed by Nikhil Kumaraswamy

Affidavit filed by Sumalatha Ambarish

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Mr Tejasvi Surya to contest from Bangalore South

The election process in the prestigious Bangalore South constituency has just begun with the confirmation of the BJP candidate  Mr Tejasvi Surya. After the sudden demise of Mr Ananta Kumar, an expectation had been built up that  Mrs Tejaswini  Anantakumar would be the candidate. The media was basically responsible for building up this narrative which appears to have been supported by a few BJP leaders. When her name had not been announced in the first list, a rumour was going round that Mr Modi may contest from this constituency. But finally the choice has fallen on Mr Tejasvi Surya, an young leader, a good orator and an advocate by upbringing.

It is good to see that Mr Tejasvi visited Mrs Tejaswini’s house before filing the nomination and seek the support of Mrs Tejaswini. We presume that Mrs Tejaswini  would be given another suitable opportunity to serve the party and ensure that the disappointment of local workers is suitably placated.

Tejasvi Surya is available on twitter at https://twitter.com/Tejasvi_Surya

On Facebook he is available at : https://www.facebook.com/tejasvi.suryals

Naavi

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An Open Letter to the Assistant Election Commissioner, Yadgir

To The Assistant Election Commissioner,
06-Raichur,
Loksabha Constituency 38
Yadgiri

Dear Sir,

It has been reported in Suvarna News today that your office has issued a notice to Sri Shivanada Yogi Maharaj who is a revered religious leader alleging violation of election code.

According to the report the notice is based on some press reports stating that he has made an astrological prediction which has been interpreted by some other news paper that it indicates a prediction that Sri Narendra Modi may win the elections.

Your notice is not based on valid reasons and smacks of a malicious bias which is itself a violation of election code for an officer of the Government.

Everyday people do express their wish that some political party will win and some will lose. This is part of the legitimate public and press activity. It is the prerogative of the Press to interpret any word uttered by either a religious leader or a party leader or even a terrorist and state that this means that so and so will win. Based on such press reports, it is incorrect for you to issue a notice to the Swami.

I therefore charge you that you are biased and unfit to discharge your duties as per the constitution. You are maliciously misusing the powers and responsibility entrusted to you.
You should therefore recuse yourself from the duties related to the election forthwith.

In case the news report of Suvarna News is wrong, you need to initiate action against Suvarna News for spreading a fake message. In case your inference is based on some other news paper report and you consider it inappropriate, you need to initiate action on that news paper.

In either case, your action to issue notice to the Swamiji is highly deplorable.

Kindly apologize to the Swamiji as well as the public and withdraw the notice.

CC: The Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi, with a request to immediately divest the responsibilities of this officer.

Na.Vijayashankar
Netizen Activist
All India Forum of Netizens
Bangalore
37, 20th Main, BSK First Stage, Bangalore 560050
14th March 2019

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Stop this Day light robbery from Shell India Marketing

I happened to observe today that Shell India marketing company which sells lubricants through the authorized retail petrol bunks, is selling certain products at a price which is more than double the price at which it is available through other dealers. I would like the consumers to start a movement to boycott Shell Petrol Bunks and its products until they apologize for their consumer exploitation and reduce the prices to normal levels.

I personally bought the engine oil for my car at the persuasion of the staff at the petrol bunk. After the engine oil was drained, I found that the cost of the oil for the 4 lts can was Rs 4980/-. When I checked the price online I found that it was available at Rs 2299/- through cloud tail.

I donot believe Cloudtail is selling the product at a loss and hence I believe the real price of the product should be around Rs 2000-2050 and the official petrol bunks of Shell are selling it at Rs 4980/-.

I consider that this kind of pricing is exploitative and usurious.

I have taken up the matter with the company through an e-mail addressed to one Ms Ankit Mehra as suggested by their call center and am awaiting response.

I have also copied the e-mail (copy given below) to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for their reaction.

Since the primary license of the Petrol Bunk is to sell petrol, the selling of lubricants at the above prices should be considered as a misuse of the licensing and hence should be stopped forthwith.

If this is the  attitude and culture of the company, it is possible that the premium petrol that they are selling may actually be ordinary petrol and the company is unreliable and untrustworthy.

I wish the consumers recognize this and stop using the Shell petrol Bunks.

I request other consumers who have had similar experiences to also raise this issue and write to the company to lodge their protests.

Naavi


Copy of letter sent to the Company through e-mail:

To Ms Ankita Mehra

Territory Manager
Shell India Markets Private Limited
Sub: Shell is practicing unfair marketing practice and cheating the Consumers
Madam
I hereby give you notice that it has been observed that your company is practicing unfair marketing practices and cheating the consumers, in the marketing of lubricants sold through your authorized retailers.
I today went to your authorized petrol bunk in the Bull Temple Road for buying petrol. I was offered a free engine oil check up and advised that the oil needed change. I agreed to change the oil and chose to use 5W-40 Helix Ultra. I was sold a can of 4 litres at a price of Rs 4980/- for my Maruti Swift Dzire (petrol).
While the engine oil was being drained from my car, I checked the price of the same oil at other dealers and found that it was available at Rs 2299/- inclusive of all taxes through Cloud tail India.
The authorized dealer however has billed me Rs 4980/- stating that it is the MRP and they have been instructed by the Company to sell only at MRP.
I therefore was paying Rs 2681/- higher than the retail price of Rs 2299/-, which was 117% higher.
Considering that Cloud tail must be selling at a margin of atleast 10%, the real price of the 4L can should be around Rs 2050/- and your authorized petrol retailers are selling it at Rs 4980/- or at a margin of 143%. (Even if the tax component is considered, the change would be only notional).
Further by selling me a 4L can when I required only 3.5 lts, a further over charging has been done to the extent of 0.5 liters which would amount to Rs 622/-
This is obviously an usurious and a day light looting of consumers.
Please therefore show me cause why I should not move the Consumer Courts to ban the sale of lubricants to consumers through your petrol bunks all across the country.
I will also be moving the Ministry of Petroleum to understand if such consumer exploitation is allowed under Competition act and whether the petrol retailing licenses include a permission for such consumer exploitation.
Kindly let me know if you have any response. If I donot receive any response, within the next 15 days, it will be presumed that you donot have any response and I would go ahead with necessary action to claim damages and for a direction to stop selling of lubricants across the retail petrol bunks.
Regards
Na.Vijayashankar

 

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The Lingayat Issue in Karnataka Election

Congress has made one of their biggest mistakes in recent times by trying to divide the community of Lingayats and Veerashaivas by holding out the “Reservation” carrot.

Reservation is the bane of our country and needs to be eliminated completely. However politicians have been revelling in holding out the incentives to different castes and religions based on the concept of “Reservation” and Siddaramaiah has now taken this concept too far to divide the developed community of Lingayats.

Lingayats in Karnataka are the ruling class and are well developed educationally and economically. Hence they donot need reservation. Actually it is demeaning for most Lingayats if they get some benefits in future based on the concept of “Reservation”. Today they are considering themselves on par with the “Bramhins” in the society but once they become “Reservation targets” , Lingayats will get demoted in public perception as equivalent to SC, ST and BC.

I therefore think that most Lingayats are not comfortable with the “Separate Religion” tag. However, like the majority of Muslims not being able to oppose the minority radicals in their community, some Lingayat leaders may find it politically incorrect to oppose what on the face of it is projected as a “Benefit”.

Today, this silent majority may be in a dilemma what to do in the election. But the progressive people in the community will see the Congress bluff and remain with BJP. Even if some vocal leaders try to support Siddaramaiah, they will remember that Mr Siddaramaiah and his Congress Culture is more suitable for the PFI than the Lingayats  who are an off shoot of Hindus who revolted against some customs.

The Lingayat issue has given an indelible mark on Siddu as a “Divider of Hindu Community” and along with his support for PFI by withdrawing cases against the radical elements and then accepting the support of PFI in the elections has declared a war on the Hindu community.

People of Karnataka are aware that Congress of Rahul Gandhi is fundamentally anti Hindu despite his temple hopping gimmick and Mr Siddaramaiah though a staunch Hindu at heart would not mind selling out the interest of Hindus to remain in power.

The Lingayat issue therefore has indirectly created a polarization of Hindu votes not limited to the Lingayat community but also in the larger Hindu-Muslim polarization. The Lingayat Veerashaiva division is recognized as an attempt to weaken the Hindu community in general and help the Muslim community to consolidate their support base.

Perhaps Siddu did not anticipate such a backlash and also BJP may not like to openly exploit such a sentiment but the undercurrent of feeling that Rahul Gandhi and Congress is dangerous to the very existence of Hinduism in the world is slowly gaining strength. This could hurt Congress and could be a parity breaker to swing the pendulum in this election in favour of BJP.

The present community in the “Reservation Category” will also be upset that Congress is bringing a dominant community within the “Reservation Category” and ultimately, this can only dilute their present privileges. Hence Congress should lose some of its present support base also for its ill advised move to divide Lingayats.

There is no way leaders like Anant Kumar Hegde and others will leave an opportunity to exploit the situation and we can therefore see some fire works nearing the election. The Coastal Karnataka which has seen many killings of RSS workers may therefore consoldiate behind BJP much to the discomfort of Congress.

We have to wait and see how Congress counters this backlash.

Naavi

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