THE FORTHCOMING assembly elections in Karnataka will pit the Congress ideology of secularism and unity of people against the divisive ideology of the BJP and the opportunistic politics of the JD(S), Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said at a pre-election Congress rally in Mysuru on Sunday.
Ahead of the huge rally in the home district of Siddaramaiah, Rahul, who is on the fourth leg of his pre-election tour of the state, welcomed seven rebel JD(S) MLAs, a veteran JD(S) leader and many local leaders into the Congress fold.
Addressing the rally, Rahul said the Congress is working to defeat the BJP in every election booth in the state. “On one side is a party that wants to bring people together, on another side is party that wants to divide people on communal lines and in between is the JD(S) which has no ideology,” he said.
He said the JD(S) has slowly become a part of the Sangh Parivar and the ‘S’ in the JD(S) now stands for Sangh and not Secular. “Now JD(S) has become Janata Dal Sangh Parivar. They should tell the people if they are supporting the BJP or are with the poor of the state. Are they on the side of a few rich persons? The people want to know,” Rahul said.
“Congress workers should know that this is an ideological fight with the BJP. The Congress is fighting as one united organisation like never before. In every booth, Congress workers have risen. We want to show the BJP the strength of the Congress. We will fight them at every booth and we will defeat them at every booth. We will win Karnataka now and Parliament in 2019. The Congress will rule Karnataka and India,” he said.
At the rally, seven rebel JD(S) MLAs, who quit the assembly on Saturday after voting for Congress candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls — were inducted into the Congress.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the rebel leaders were joining the Congress because they did not see a future for themselves in the JD(S), which has become a party of former prime minister H D Devegowda and his sons. The electoral contest in southern Karnataka from where five of the JD(S) rebels contested in 2013 is essentially between the Congress and the JD(S) since the BJP does not have a strong base across constituencies in the region.
“There will be three contesting ideologies in the coming election — the secularism of the Congress, the communalism of the BJP and the opportunism of the JD(S),” Siddaramaiah said.