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Siddaramaiah vs Shivakumar: High Command Gag Falls Flat as Public Rants Continue to Embarrass Cong

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Amid raging unrest over the Cauvery issue, the ruling Congress party in Karnataka is back to what it is good at — internal squabbling, palace intrigue, and one-upmanship that have become a routine in the last two months.

After its spectacular win in the do-or-die Assembly elections in May, party cadre and the public had hoped that it would be a different Congress; one that would fight the BJP and JD(S) unitedly. But the recent developments have showed exactly the opposite, allowing the Opposition to set the narrative.

On Thursday, 92-year-old Congress MLA Shamanur Shivashankarappa, the party’s senior-most lawmaker by age, dropped a bombshell, alleging that the plight of Lingayat officials in the government “is worse than that of stray dogs”. The Lingayat leader implied that the politically powerful caste is being ignored by the Siddaramaiah government in postings and transfers. His statement might affect the Congress’s Lingayat outreach ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Primary opposition BJP is happy to watch the developments unfold – it still has the support of majority Lingayats and outbursts like Shivashankarappa’s are good for the saffron party.

A week ago, Cooperation Minister and Siddaramaiah loyalist KN Rajanna made an explosive demand, arguing for three Deputy Chief Ministers instead of just one. Even though he advocated that all major castes and communities should be given important posts, it is no secret that he was targeting Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar.

When Shivakumar was forced to accept the number two position in May, he had accepted it on certain conditions, including that he would be the only deputy chief minister.

An unhappy Shivakumar is also said to be eyeing the post of Chief Minister after the Lok Sabha elections. Sources say that, in private, he has expressed his desire to his followers and party MLAs.

Senior Congress leader and MLC BK Hariprasad, who is close to Shivakumar, had organised a public meeting of most backward castes in Bengaluru a few weeks ago where he launched an all-out attack on Siddaramaiah.

What embarrassed the Congress the most was that he had invited some senior BJP leaders to the meeting! An infuriated Siddaramaiah demanded Hariprasad’s dismissal, and the party high command issued him a show cause notice seeking a detailed explanation for his remarks. The Siddaramaiah camp believes that Hariprasad was instigated by Shivakumar. To counter that, the other camp launched the three deputy CMs demand.

Rajanna’s demand has upset Shivakumar and he has complained to the high command as well.

In the meantime, the demand for a Dalit Chief Minister has also returned to the fore.

Embarrassed and disturbed by the sudden attack and counterattacks in public, the Congress high command in New Delhi issued a gag order on all state leaders. But it seems to have little effect on the warring factions.

Majority MLAs and some ministers also feel that certain castes and power brokers in the government are manipulating the system, causing huge damage to the overall party set up in the state. The recent transfer and postings of government employees has also upset many in the party and government.

“We won big. The people of Karnataka voted us to rule firmly and fairly. But some of these people are ruining everything for their personal gains. The same power brokers who were hyperactive during the previous BJP regime are active even now. As far as governance is concerned, nothing much has changed. Unless we fight unitedly, sharing the fruits of power with our own people, we will be back to square one soon,” said a senior Congress MLA on condition of anonymity.

Some feel that Siddaramaiah, who is serving his last term as Chief Minister and MLA, is not the same leader he was. They claim he seems to have lost the political will and the desire to assert himself.

“Siddaramaiah is no doubt our top leader and the most popular face. But the Congress should survive and thrive even after him. The current situation does not offer any hopes. We need to change a lot of things immediately,” said another Congress leader.

The cadre does not want their leaders to damage the party by indulging in internal fights, ignoring the aspirations of a greater and larger following outside. The complete failure of monsoons is also likely to affect the electoral prospects of the Congress.



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Lok Sabha Polls Will Be Dynastic Politics & Corruption Versus Development Fight: Nadda

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BJP national president JP Nadda. (PTI/File)

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the LS polls

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda has said the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be a battle between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Addressing party workers from Mumbai’s western suburbs during his visit to the metropolis on Wednesday, Nadda said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India is well on its way to become the third largest economy in the world from fifth now.

Attacking anti-BJP opposition parties, he alleged that they were either dynastic or steeped in corruption.

“You have to reach out to voters and seek their support for a fresh mandate (for BJP at the Centre). First-time voters in the last ten years have seen only development and not corruption like previous governments,” Nadda asserted, referring to the decade-long rule of the Modi administration that started in 2014.

He said the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in April-May, will be a fight between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Dynastic politics and corruption will lead to destruction, Nadda said and highlighted the BJP’s development agenda.

Earlier in the day, Nadda met BJP office-bearers from all the 36 assembly constituencies in Mumbai besides party MPs and MLAs from the metropolis.

In his address, Nadda asked BJP leaders from Mumbai to ensure the party ideology reaches the last person in society and urged them to give a befitting reply to opposition attacks on the saffron outfit and its government.

He advised BJP leaders to extensively use social media and seek support of prominent personalities on issues of public interest.

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the national polls.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its then-ally, the undivided Shiv Sena, won three seats each in Mumbai. In the Maharashtra assembly polls held in October that year, the BJP won 16 of the 36 seats in the city, while 14 were bagged by the Sena.

The state, where the BJP is in power in alliance with the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Ajit Pawar-headed NCP, has a 288-member legislative assembly.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18

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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18One OBC (Narendra Modi) being the prime minister does not solve the problem, says M Kumaramangalam Nehru stopped the Caste Census and said that it would divide the country, BJP’s Shehzad hits back



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BJP to Release Documentary on Alleged Atrocities Against Women in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali

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Last Updated: February 21, 2024, 23:05 IST

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am (Image: X/BJP)

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections

The BJP is set to release a documentary on Sandeshkhali on Thursday with the party intensifying its attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government over the alleged incidents of atrocities and sexual assault on women there.

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am, the BJP said in post on X, asking Banerjee in Bangla, “Didi ke bolo aaro koto ‘Sandeshkhali’ (Tell didi how many more Sandeshkhali like incidents)”.

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area — situated on the borders of the Sunderbans, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata — has been witnessing protests after the local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his supporters of land grab and sexual assault under coercion.

Interestingly, ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ is a campaign launched by the TMC after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to provide a platform for the people of West Bengal to directly raise their concerns or lodge complaints with Chief Minister Banerjee.

The TMC’s move was reportedly aimed at countering the BJP in the state.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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