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Monday, July 23, 2018

Karnataka polls will be a battle between secularism and communalism: Siddaramaiah 

As assembly election season draws to a close, the BJP has intensified its attacks on the Congress government in the poll-bound state.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 13, 2018 10:02:58 pm
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in New Delhi. (Express photo by Anil Sharma)

In a sharp attack on the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka CM K Siddaramaiah said that they are raising irrelevant issues in the state. The statement came after the CM met Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Saturday. “The BJP has no issues. They are raising irrelevant issues, Yogi Adityanath is also raising the same issue. Amit Shah is also raising the same issue, and Narendra Modi may also raise the same issue because they have no issues there.”

Siddaramaiah also described the upcoming Assembly polls in the state as a battle between two ideologies –communalism and secularism. “This (election) will not be a battle between me and (BS) Yeddyurappa. It will not be a contest between me and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi. It will be a battle of two ideologies — secularism and communalism,” Siddaramaiah told reporters.

As election season draws to a close, the BJP has intensified its attacks on the Congress government in the state. Siddaramaiah claimed that there was no anti-incumbency feeling against his government and the party will win a comfortable majority in the Assembly elections due in a few months.

The meeting came in the wake of a verbal duel between Siddaramaiah and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah. The Chief Minister refused to apologize for his alleged attack on the BJP calling them ‘Hindutva extremists.’

Following his meeting with the Congress President, Siddaramiah said, “Rahul Gandhi is very happy with the functioning of the government. He is very happy that our government has no anti-incumbency. He is very happy to know that all promises made to the people in the (last election) manifesto have been fulfilled.”

On Wednesday, Siddaramaiah had alleged that the RSS—parent organisation of the BJP— and Bajrang Dal had terrorists within their ranks, a charge downplayed by the BJP. “They themselves are like terrorists in a way. The BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal also have terrorists within,” he had said.

The Karnataka CM has been facing an intense attack from the BJP over continuous demands to ban Islamist outfit  Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing SDPI, holding them responsible for a spate of killings of Hindutva activists in the coastal Dakshina Kannada district.

Meanwhile, the PFI has been accusing the Sangh of killings of Muslims in the region.

Karanataka is expected to go to the polls in March-April.

(With inputs from agencies)

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