bjp: Karnataka bypolls: Congress and BJP lock horns over wooing caste based vote bank | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Entering the last leg of campaigning, the Congress and BJP have locked horns over wooing voters in Sindgi and Hangal using caste as a platform.
After former CM and opposition leader Siddaramaiah participated in a Kuruba community meeting at Hangal, trying to woo the community from which he hails from, the BJP started to target the Congress for its “casteist” approach towards voters.
Offline and online, the BJP targeted Siddaramaiah by claiming he was the one who tried to break the Lingayat community during his tenure as CM and is posing as a “secular” leader with a “secular” party.
“Siddaramaiah is the man who sowed the seeds of the poison of casteism in the state. Today, the same man is trying to woo votes by stringing together a garland of lies. The man who tried to divide the Veerashaiva and Lingayats, how can you now say that you will take all communities together?” questioned the BJP.
The BJP went on to claim that he even brought a caste and communal divide in the media industry by providing “media kits” to the minorities.
To this, Siddaramaiah responded by questioning the duplicity of the BJP wherein if their leaders attended a caste based rallies then it is secular but if he attends then it is casteist.
“Eshwarappa held a Kuruba rally while Basangouda Patil Yatnal held a Panchamasali Lingayat rally and Pralhad Joshi, Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri and Suresh Kumar attended a Brahmin community rally. In fact, minister R Ashoka claimed that he became a minister for being a Vokkaliga. Are they all casteist or secular?” questioned the opposition leader.
Siddaramaiah even questioned the Lingayat seers coming in support of former CM BS Yediyurappa when he was being replaced and questioned whether he was also casteist.
“I continue to stand by my statement that until casteism is rooted out from our society there is a need for reservation. Can the BJP leaders say the same?” questioned Siddaramaiah.
Earlier in the day, the Congressman took on chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, in a continuation of the war of words between the two over wearing a rug on their shoulders, a symbol of the shepherds community, and demanded the reintroduction of the “anugraha” scheme to provide compensation for dead sheeps.
“Wearing a rug on your shoulders for votes does not mean you are with the community, CM Bommai. Reintroduce the Congress initiated scheme of Anugraha, which provides compensation for the death of their livestock if you intend to help the community,” chided Siddaramaiah, citing the death of 40 sheep of a dairy farmer from Shivamogga.
In Hangal, CM Bommai hit back by claiming that he never targeted Siddaramaiah or any other leader.
“Nobody is born in a particular community by submitting an application. All the communities are with the BJP and I do not need to defame anyone to win the votes of a particular community. The BJP has never discriminated against any caste or community. The Congress and Siddaramaiah are trying to twist words,” he claimed in a rally.
Earlier, continuing his spree of election rallies, Bommai targeted the Congress for communal divide.
“The Congress is taking the Muslims for granted, and this the community has started to realise. They use the Muslims once in five years for securing votes and forget them till next elections. This is the same with the SC/ST and OBC communities,” he alleged.

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Sagar Biswas

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