In the past few years, the Congress party has been trying to come back to power in Karnataka. But its tactics of polarisation for winning the vote bank have always backfired on them. Once again, Congress is dreaming of victory through its age-old tactic of regionalism. But, it cannot recreate 2013.
Congress down to divisive politics
In light of the upcoming 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections, Congress’ staunch advocate and former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said that his party will amplify Kannadiga’s pride. Congress is also planning to stoke the demand for more jobs for locals.
With the election dates coming closer, a series of party meetings were held. These meetings were attended by state Congress chief DK Shivakumar, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, and Rahul Gandhi. Randeep Surjewala, AICC in-charge of Karnataka, and the general secretary in-charge of organization KC Venugopal were also key attendees.
In the presence of heavyweights of the Congress party, Siddaramaiah also claimed that the recurrent campaigns by the Hindu groups against Muslims in the state of Karnataka have pushed the BJP to the “backfoot”. According to him, Congress will help people uncover the hurt that BJP has caused to the state. In addition, he also said that there is nothing like “soft Hindutva” or “hard Hindutva” and the Congress will continue to fight for the constitutional rights of Muslims.
Reservation for Kannadigas in local jobs
Clearing the fog around the scuffle between the party leaders, Siddaramaiah said, “There was no disagreement between the state party leaders, particularly DK Shivakumar, and they were ready to face the election together. We discussed all possible strategies, and why we lost in 2018… Last time, we didn’t market our work well, but this time we will not make those mistakes. Apart from the state-level Chintan Shivir, we are having meetings in every district and constituency. The political mood in Karnataka is pro-Congress.”
Outlining the job needs of the local people, Siddaramaiah said that the party will be making major efforts for the implementation of the Sarojini Mahishi report. The report recommends that a large portion of jobs should be reserved for Kannadigas in public sector undertakings, private companies, and multinational companies.
Invoking the language-based divide, Siddaramaiah said, “We are not against Hindi, but in Karnataka, Kannada should get importance. We want to ensure all the class II, III, and IV jobs go to locals.” In addition, he also affirmed that the Congress party will soon release a report of the socio-economic and caste census that was conducted during his time as CM by the State Commission for Backward Classes.
All these efforts by the Congress party can be seen as a revival of the 2013 Karnataka Assembly elections. The party wants to continue its age-old tradition of polarisation and regionalism for filling its vote banks. Congress party has time and again instigated the people against the current ruling party.
The majority community of India largely supports the current ruling party. And this is making Congress impatient to name itself as the winner of the vote bank.
Read more: Congress fights Congress in Karnataka
What happened in the 2013 Karnataka Assembly elections?
Siddaramaiah is a politician with mass support from the backward classes. In 2005, Siddaramaiah was expelled from Janata Dal (Secular). After which he wanted to form his own party, but failed as the regional parties could not survive. In the aftermath, he joined the Congress party and soon became a reason for the victory of the Congress party.
The Indian National Congress (INC) became a prize winner in the 2013 Karnataka Elections with Siddaramaiah as the face of the party. During this time, the INC came to power after nine years, with Siddaramaiah becoming the Chief Minister.
He won the 2013 elections from the Varuna constituency, which gave fame to his political journey. Soon he was elected as the leader of the Congress legislative party in Karnataka. However, in 2018 he announced his last Assembly Elections and left his all-time winner Varuna seat for his son to contest. However, his carrier didn’t stop and he won a Vidhan Sabha seat from Badami.
Siddaramaiah always had the support of backward-class people, which helped him shape his carrier as a majestic politician. Thus, Congress used him for their benefit and came into power in 2013.
Congress’s move against Hindutva
The Congress party has always moved with the political agenda of regionalism in local polls. Regionalism is an act of identity but politicians have time and again used it for their peculiar practices.
The party’s new campaign for “Kannadiga Pride” is being considered an ace of spades in regard to the Karnataka Assembly Elections of 2023.
Congress’s new move against Hindutva and antagonizing people against BJP is a clear attempt to fill their vote banks by nefarious means.
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