Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is having a hard time facing the political heat prior to the Karnataka assembly elections. He has sent a legal notice to PM Modi, BJP’s President Amit Shah and BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa on Monday. According to news reports, PM Modi slammed the Karnataka government for its poor performance. There, PM Modi said, “Karnataka ki Congress sarkar 10% ki sarkar hai.” It seems that the Congress and Siddaramaiah did not have a befitting reply to the allegations and therefore chose to send a legal notice. The notice also mentions the advertisements placed by the BJP titled as ‘Sidda Sarkara’.
However, one fails to understand why Siddaramaiah is unnecessarily creating so much of commotion about it. Such projections are routinely exchanged during elections. If everyone starts filing legal notices for defamation over criticism of the incumbent government due to corruption charges, it would lead to an absurd situation. India being a democracy, any government must always keep scope for constructive criticism. The government should not have insecurities when claims of misgovernance are made against it. It is one thing to ridicule those allegations or even make counter allegations, however, trying to drag such matters to court is like making a mountain out of a molehill. However, Siddaramaiah seems to be too engrossed in the election process to understand democratic processes and functioning. If everyone starts slapping legal notices in this manner, it would make a mockery of the election process with every voice being stifled by someone else. Siddaramaiah has set a very bad precedent with this notice.
More than anything, this should be taken as an indication of desperation and fear of loss on the part of Siddaramaiah. The elections have been full of barbs exchanged from both the sides. Congress, in particular has been guilty of making feral allegations. Allegations have been flying thick and fast. This is not limited to Karnataka elections; it has been a general trend in Indian politics. However, it’s rare to see a veteran politician making a huge issue out of it.
This move by Siddaramaiah is bound to backfire. He will come out looking as an oversensitive dejected political leader. In the initial days, he had looked pretty confident and was trying to take the BJP campaign head on. However, with this legal notice it appears that he has succumbed after the BJP’s campaign and especially by PM Modi’s campaign speech.
One can only wish that Congress had at least looked into its own conduct before taking such an extreme step. The Congress objection to Prime Minister’s statement is not fair, because when it comes to making airy and wild allegations, Congress President Rahul Gandhi is well known for it. He concocted a scam out of thin air and started asking for resignation of one of the most successful railway minister, Piyush Goyal. The way Rahul Gandhi has been imagining facts and figures about Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya is no less outrageous. Even though the loans to the defaulting parties were granted by the UPA government, he still blames PM Modi. However, unlike Siddaramaiah, no one proceeds with a legal notice against such airy allegations.
Let’s forget what Rahul Gandhi does or says for a moment, he does not do anything worth focusing anyway, but what about the“90% commission government” remark made by Siddaramaiah against the Modi government without any basis. If PM Modi’s statements are actionable, then by the same logic even Siddaramaiah is guilty of defaming the Prime Minister. Siddaramaiah must realize that he cannot have one standard for himself and another for the BJP. He has come out looking like a hypocrite; for he is doing the same thing that he is crusading against.
Siddaramaiah shouldn’t have taken such a defensive move. He has ended up showing himself as a weak, desperate and oversensitive leader who makes a huge deal out of a non-issue. This move is going to backfire badly for the Congress and especially for Siddaramaiah.