Bengaluru, Jan 9: Looking at the way Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath are engaged in a war of words to prove who is a 'bigger and better' Hindu, the discourse during the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections will be all about religion and cow, instead of development and people.
A day after Yogi alleged that the Karnataka CM promotes beef-eating, the latter questioned the UP CM's right to criticise people's food habits on Monday.
On Sunday, Yogi, while attending the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivartana rally in Bengaluru, stated that Siddaramaiah should not promote beef-eating if he claims himself to be a Hindu.
In reply to Yogi, the Congress leader tweeted, "I have taken care of cows, I feed them and I have also cleaned cow dung. What moral rights Yogi Adityanath has got to criticise me? Has he ever taken care of cows?"
"Many in Hindu religion eat beef and I will eat if I want to eat beef, but I don't like beef that's why I don't eat it. Who is he to ask?" the Karnataka CM said in another tweet.
While welcoming Yogi to his home state, Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that the UP CM could "learn a lot" from him.
Siddaramaiah tweeted: "I welcome UP CM Yogi Adityanath to our state. There is a lot you can learn from us, Sir. When you are here, please visit an Indira Canteen and a ration shop. It will help you address the starvation deaths sometimes reported from your state".
Yogi accused Siddaramaiah of intermixing religion and politics, thus following in the footsteps of Congress president Rahul Gandhi ahead of the Assembly polls in Gujarat.
In an earlier tweet, Siddaramaiah asked Yogi to primarily focus on ending "Jungle Raj" in UP and retrospect upon the increasing number of deaths of children in hospitals.
"Yogi Adityanath should first get rid of Jungle Raj in Uttar Pradesh and save children who are dying in the hospital. Let us understand that", the Karnataka CM tweeted in Kannada.
The Yogi- Siddaramaiah war of words reminds voters of the kind of malicious and low-level discourse politicians were engaged in during the recent Gujarat Assembly elections.
Of late, Yogi has been frequently visiting Karnataka and addressing public rallies as a part of the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, scheduled in a few months from now.
The Congress, under the leadership of CM Siddaramaiah, is in power in the southern state after it defeated the BJP in the last Assembly elections in 2013. The BJP is trying its best to defeat the Congress, which is facing anti-incumbency, in the upcoming elections.