Bengaluru, March 29: Months before the Election Commission (EC) announced the poll date for the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018, both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress made sure that the state gets divided into "communal lines". From cow to separate religious status to Lingayats, the Congress and the BJP are using the age-old tactic of "divide and rule" to win votes.
Interestingly, both the parties are accusing each other of spreading communal hatred to win elections. On Wednesday, the Congress approached the EC to take action against BJP president Amit Shah for calling incumbent chief minister Siddaramaiah "anti-Hindu".
The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has requested the EC to initiate criminal action against Shah.
"Complaint filed with the Election Commission against BJP President Amit Shah for his statements against CM @siddaramaiah in violation of Representation of People's Act. KPCC has requested EC to take appropriate action & initiate criminal action against Mr. Shah.," tweeted the Congress.
Complaint filed with the Election Commission against BJP President Amit Shah for his statements against CM @siddaramaiah in violation of Representation of People's Act.— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) March 28, 2018
KPCC has requested EC to take appropriate action & initiate criminal action against Mr. Shah. pic.twitter.com/mYNAI2uFio
In its tweet, the Congress has posted the letter which the KPCC has submitted to the EC. On Tuesday, BJP president Shah accused the Siddaramaiah government of trying to divide Hindus and being the "most corrupt" one in the country. "I have made five to six visits to Karnataka and after meeting people I have been able to understand the feeling of Karnataka," said Shah during a press meet at Davanagere.
"The feeling of people of Karnataka is that he (Siddaramaiah) is not AHINDA leader, an AHINDU (anti-Hindu) leader," he added. AHINDA is a Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits.
"Just ahead of the (assembly) elections in Karnataka, they have tried to divide Lingayats and Veerashaivas, also Lingayats and other communities, by announcing minority status for them," Shah told reporters.
Questioning the timing of the move, he asked the Siddaramaiah government, "What were you doing for five years?" "In 2013 when your own (UPA) government was in power at the Centre, they had rejected it. Why was Siddaramaiah silent then? This is an attempt to divide the Hindus..," he said.
On Tuesday, the EC announced the polling and counting dates for the Karnataka Assembly elections. While polling will take place on May 12, the counting of votes will take place on May 15.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|