The party submitted a memorandum alleging that the ruling Congress in Karnataka is resorting to all sorts of malpractices to rig the assembly elections. "This will cast a shadow not only on 2018 assembly elections but also on the 2019 general elections", says a senior influential minister close to Siddharamaiah.
This could pin the CM down to three seats with personal stakes and rob him of precious time to lead the campaign elsewhere. "I'm only a party worker obeying the high command and I'm confident I'll win", he said. The JDS, which does not have much organisational strength in the region, seems to have given up in favour of the BJP.
While BJP's CM candidate BS Yedyurappa, himself a Lingayat, brushes off the churn this has caused, others in his party admit the move was bound to result in political chaos.
As many as 15 of the 18 leaders who had defected from the Congress and BJP to the JD (S) prior to elections had secured tickets for themselves or for their kin. Basavaraj was named after BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa announced that his second son B.Y. Vijayendra will not be contesting from the constituency against Yathindra Siddaramaiah, the chief minister's son. While the BJP has indicated Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate, Lingayats do not see him as a leader and have no faith in him anymore. "Our whole strategy will be to highlight this factor". The BJP handed out tickets only to two sitting MPS - Yeddyurappa and Sriramulu. According to the survey, the Congress is presently securing about three-fourths of the Kuruba vote (the community to which Siddaramaiah belongs), three-fifths of the Muslim vote, almost half of the Dalit vote (who are about 17 percent of the total electorate) and two-fifths of the tribal vote.
"The Modi government has become the benefactor, protector, defender of the Bellary Gang (Reddy brothers) for denuding Kannadigas of their rich natural resources through its puppet CBI", Congress media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters here. "But in this lurks the risky trap the Karnataka BJP can walk into for the general elections in 2019".
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