First Hijab then Halal, Karnataka has been the talk of the town. And especially with the upcoming assembly elections and state governments’ prompt actions, Karnataka presently has all the eyes of the media on it. This was again highlighted after the joust between Congress leader DK Shivakumar and Telangana minister KT Rama Rao.
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Karnataka and Telangana: A political lookback
It was in 2018 when the state of Karnataka saw the largest voter turnout since independence with a voter count of more than 72 percent. In 2018, Congress being governing the state since 2013, hoped to win a consecutive term.
However, the dream of the grand old party was shattered by the Bhartiya Janta Party that registered victory on 104 seats, and Congress was cornered in the state with just 80 seats. But the Congress could not accept the decline in its popularity and hold in the southern state and since then it has been targeting the ruling BJP on one issue or the other.
The political history of Telangana is rather simple, after being carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, K Chandrashekhar Rao has held the chair of the chief minister. And Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has been in power.
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The states will go into polls in 2023, but the parties have started preparing their roadmaps. And the recent joust between DK Shivkumar and KT Rama Rao indicates the same.
‘Friendly’ joust on Twitter
Where do the attacks and counterattacks take place these days, well the simple answer is the microblogging site Twitter. On Monday, netizens woke up to a series of attacks and counterattacks between Karnataka state Congress president DK Shivakumar and Telangana minister KT Rama Rao.
Pack your bags & move to Hyderabad! We have better physical infrastructure & equally good social infrastructure. Our airport is 1 of the best & getting in & out of city is a breeze
More importantly our Govt’s focus is on 3 i Mantra; innovation, infrastructure & inclusive growth https://t.co/RPVALrl0QB
— KTR (@KTRTRS) March 31, 2022
While responding to a tweet by an entrepreneur Ravish Naresh, where he mentioned the problems faced in Bengaluru, KTR advised him to shift to Hyderabad and boasted about his governments’ mantra of development.
Congress’ DK Shivakumar took this tweet of KTR as a challenge and responded, “My friend, I accept your challenge. By the end of 2023, with Congress back in power in Karnataka, we will restore the glory of Bengaluru as India’s best city.”
This does not end here, and the BJP also jumped into the battle. Minister of Higher Education of Karnataka, CN Ashwathnarayan in no delay showed the mirror to DK Shivakumar.
Ashwathnarayan responded in a tweet, “During your party’s rule, let’s not forget Tech industry in the State had to time & again hammer that they were being ignored & there was no progress. Your party ensured Bengaluru was neglected for decades! One can’t expect anything more than petty politicking from @INCKarnataka!”
During your party’s rule, let's not forget Tech industry in the State had to time & again hammer that they were being ignored & there was no progress. Your party ensured Bengaluru was neglected for decades! One can’t expect anything more than petty politicking from @INCKarnataka! pic.twitter.com/5N9LO41bCO
— Dr. Ashwathnarayan C. N. (@drashwathcn) April 4, 2022
The Road ahead
Congress has learned nothing from the recent poll debacle in five states, where Congress has lost miserably in the states of Punjab, Goa, and Uttarakhand. In Uttar Pradesh, the situation of Congress is even worse, as the candidates have lost deposits on more than 90 percent of the seats it contested.
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But Rahul Gandhi still dreams of winning Karnataka, and he has assigned the “biggest responsibility” to party leaders Siddaramaiah, DK Shivakumar, and Mallikarjun Kharge to fight and win 150 seats. Well, it’s a distant dream for Congress, because it is not 2018, where BJP lacked a simple majority by a few seats, it’s 2022, and Amit Shah, the ‘Chanakya’ has already begun preparing the road map for the upcoming polls. BJP currently has 120 seats in the state and with Amit Shah’s strategy and CM Bommai’s not-so-secular positioning, BJP has set the target of 150 this time.
After the loss in five states, the whole Congress party should retire from politics and DK Shivkumar should learn some lessons from Punjab, Goa, and Uttar Pradesh.
There is a mistake in the article. Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, not Karnataka.