With just two days left before campaigning ends, none of the frontrunners brings up the lynching directly. Of the nine candidates in Behror, eight are Yadavs and the community accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 2.2 lakh electorate.
The Indian Express reporters fan out across the country to mark milestones in the Mahatma’s journey. To bring stories of the footsoldiers of Swachh Bharat, whose job it is to wipe, mop and dust where the Mahatma once walked.
DK Shivakumar indicated that though the future of the alliance in Karnataka was fraught with challenges, both parties would work together to keep the BJP at bay, with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress hopes to stem the BJP charge across India and build momentum before the crucial Assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, by keeping Karnataka, while the JD(S) hopes power will help it rebuild the party in Karnataka and perhaps even become a larger force in the Lok Sabha in 2019.
There were victory signs and cheers in the Congress and JD(S) camps after the Supreme Court ordered the floor test. But the smiles masked the worry and nervousness in the two camps in the run-up to the vote.
Anand Singh of Vijayanagara in Bellary remained incommunicado. While sources in the Congress claimed they were in touch with his family, Singh, who runs a mining business and was arrested by the CBI, was not seen with the party through Thursday.
JD(S) spokesperson Kunwar Danish Ali said: “Three flights were to arrive in Bengaluru from Hyderabad to take Congress and JD(S) MLAs to Kochi. However, the planes were denied permission. No reason was given. The MLAs will now travel aboard buses to Kochi.”
Karnataka results: Congress leaders alleged that the BJP had “engineered” the defection of three Congress and four JD(S) MLAs, who resigned as legislators forcing bypolls, and subsequently joined the BJP.
Karnataka Assembly Elections: After leading the Congress charge across Karnataka over the last few weeks, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah left Chamundeshwari — one of the two constituencies he is contesting — for the very end.
Karnataka Assembly Elections: The stakes were high. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah vacated this seat for his son, Yathindra, and Varuna was a keenly watched seat. Until late April, when Yeddyurappa announced his son would not contest.
The swap has left Arkere bewildered. “Both candidates have changed sides. I support one candidate and one party, but the same person verbally abused my party for five years. How do I choose now?” said Bhadre Gowda.