Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: Rahul Gandhi to visit Karnataka for campaigning on Feb 10

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    Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday met Congress president Rahul Gandhi at his Delhi residence, ahead of Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018. A host of Congress leaders from Karnataka has accompanied him to Delhi.

    Siddaramaiah

    Siddaramaiah told reporters that there was "no anti-incumbency" against his government.

    "Rahul Gandhi was very happy to know that there is no anti-incumbency against our government, and that all programmes that were mentioned in our manifesto have been completed."

    To a question on raising issue of Hindutva, the Karnataka CM said that "BJP is raising irrelevant issues in Karnataka.That 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."

    Meanwhile, Karnataka Congress chief Dr. G Parameshwara said that Rahul Gandhi will be visiting the poll-bound state in the month of February.

    According to sources, proposals related to outreach programmes that can be rolled out in Karnataka will be discussed at length. Rahul Gandhi along with other senior party leaders will also review the ground situation at this crucial meeting.

    "PCC [Pradesh Congress Committee] has been asked to give a detailed 360-degree plan. Besides reviewing the ground situation, outreach proposals will be discussed at length," said a senior Karnataka leader.

    The meeting also comes at the backdrop of the war of words between BJP president Amit Shah and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, which turned intense in the run-up to the Karnataka polls,

    On Wednesday, Siddaramaiah provoked massive outrage as he likened the BJP, its ideological mentor RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to terrorists, hours after he was described by the BJP as "anti-Hindu".

    "Whether it is the Popular Front of India (PFI), Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Bajarang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad or any other organisation... if they indulge in disturbing harmony and brotherhood in the society, and spread communalism, they will not be tolerated," he said.

    Siddaramaiah's comments quickly escalated into a raging controversy with the opposition party in the state accusing him of trying to polarise voters on communal lines ahead of polls later this year.

    The state BJP has filed a complaint against Siddaramaiah and state Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao for making derogatory statements against the party.

    The tenure of the Karnataka Assembly ends in May 2018 and the state is expected to go to polls around April 2018. The official notification of the dates of polling for the 225-member Assembly will be released by the Election Commission of India in the coming months.

    Unlike Gujarat where the Congress did not have a chief ministerial face, the Congress would fight under the leadership of incumbent Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

    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

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