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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

‘Misleading people’: Ad war between BJP, Congress in Karnataka over Mekedatu project

The advertisements have been appearing in prominent local Kannada newspapers since the Congress started their protest march on January 9.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: January 13, 2022 9:59:31 am
The Karnataka Congress has launched a 10-day march over the Mekedatu reservoir issue. (Express File Photo: Jithendra M)

The BJP and Congress are quite literally engaged in a war of words as the two parties have been publishing advertisements over the Mekedatu drinking water project for which the latter had organized a 100-km-long march.

The advertisements have been appearing in prominent local Kannada newspapers since the Congress started their protest march on January 9.

The ad-war started after Congress president D K Shivakumar, along with senior leaders, issued full-page advertisements outlining the initiatives undertaken during their tenures for implementation of the project.

Countering these statements, the BJP, too, put out their version, saying that the project was being opposed by the Tamil Nadu government and the Congress was just creating an unnecessary controversy over the matter.

Days after the advertisements by BJP, Congress started to give advertisements on regional Kannada newspapers, where the grand old party claimed how their government pushed the project and also criticised the ruling BJP for not implementing the project.

While initially, the advertisements did not carry the name of any person or leader, or a party’s symbol, they eventually made it through with one such ad claiming that it was issued by senior Congress leader and former water resources minister M B Patil.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Karnataka Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol said, “I decided to put out the advertisement as the Congress was misleading the people with their protest march.”

When asked as to why there were no logos or photos of the party or its leaders, he clarifies, “We wanted the people to know the truth and our ads concentrated on such documents and points. Hence, we decided not to put photos of Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai or myself.”

Congress leader and former minister Priyank Kharge on Wednesday questioned the BJP’s newspaper advertisements via a tweet. “BJP is trying to hide the facts and is worried about the Congress padayatra. If the content of the BJP advertisements are true, let them come for an open debate,” she said.

Former chief minister and leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said that the BJP has not done anything to implement the Makedattu project and are now publishing fake advertisements in newspapers to mislead people.

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