Hin­dutva is BJP’s only is­sue, says K’taka CM

No anti- in­cum­bency, says Sidda af­ter meet­ing Rahul

The Asian Age - - Nation - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT

With Hin­dutva emerg­ing as the main poll plank for BJP and Congress in Kar­nataka, state chief min­is­ter Sid­dara­ma­iah, along with other se­nior Congress lead­ers of the state, on Satur­day met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at his res­i­dence.

The meet­ing comes in the wake of a ver­bal duel be­tween Mr Sid­dara­ma­iah and BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah. Kar­nataka is likely to wit­ness elec­tion in April- May.

The Kar­nataka chief min­is­ter was in the na­tional cap­i­tal to dis­cuss the party’s poll pre­pared­ness and strat­egy at a meet­ing called by Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi, which lasted for about three- and- a- half hours.

Mr Gandhi is sched­uled to launch the first leg of his party’s poll cam­paign in Kar­nataka on Fe­bru­ary 10- 12. The state is ex­pected to go to the polls in March- April.

Kar­nataka Congress pres­i­dent G. Parameshwara, work­ing pres­i­dents S. R. Patil and Di­nesh Gundu Rao, the party’s Kar­nataka in­charge K. C. Venu­gopal were also present at the meet­ing, be­sides se­nior lead­ers Mal­likar­jun Kharge, K. Rah­man Khan, K. H. Mu­niyappa, Os­car Fer­nan­des and Veer­appa Moily.

“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,” Mr Sid­dara­ma­iah told re­porters af­ter the meet­ing.

Mr Sid­dhara­ma­iah said, “The BJP “has noth­ing to talk about” and “rais­ing ir­rel­e­vant is­sues”. That ( Hindtva) is the only is­sue they have. Yogi Adityanath and Amit Shah are also rais­ing the same is­sue and Naren­dra Modi may also raise the same is­sue. But the Congress will go to elec­tions with de­vel­op­ment plank.”

This was the first meet­ing called by the Congress pres­i­dent on the Kar­nataka polls af­ter last month’s Gu­jarat As­sem­bly elec­tion.

Mr Sid­dara­ma­iah said the party’s poll pre­pared­ness was re­viewed in de­tail at the meet­ing and its strat­egy chalked out.

“He ( Gandhi) is very happy with the func­tion­ing of the party ( in Kar­nataka) and the ( state) gov­ern­ment. Our gov­ern­ment is not fac­ing any anti- in­cum­bency. We will win the up­com­ing polls with a com­fort­able ma­jor­ity,” he added.

— PTI

Kar­nataka chief min­is­ter Sid­dara­ma­iah, ac­com­pa­nied by a del­e­ga­tion of the party lead­ers from the state, leaves af­ter meet­ing party pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Satur­day.

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