Karnataka: Congress infighting a blessing for BJP | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: BJP has plenty of cheer ahead of celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the Basavaraj Bommai government since Congress, the principal opposition, is grappling with an internal rift instead of attacking the government on its shortcomings.
The public glare is now on the tussle over the chief ministerial candidate in Congress rather than issues such as graft, price rise, and slow administration. BJP is gearing up for ‘Sadhahana Samavesha’, a mega event to be held in Doddaballapur on June 28, the first anniversary of the Bommai government and the third for BJP at the helm. Such occasions offer the opposition a platform to highlight failures of the government and an opportunity to attack it on peoplerelated issues.
However, the situation is a little different this time. Congress seems to be immersed in its own problems, letting the government off the hook. Its response to the ‘Sadhahana Samavesha’ was limited to a joint press conference on Tuesday where leader of the opposition Siddaramaiah, KPCC president DK Shivakumar and leader of opposition in the legislative council, BK Hariprasad tried to put up a united front.
The public spat between legislator Zameer Ahmed Khan, who is batting for Siddaramaiah as the CM candidate, and Shivakumar, who appealed to his Vokkaliga community to support him, has shifted public focus and provided BJP with ammunition to ridicule its main opposition. “Congress is in a pathetic condition,” said Nirmal Kumar Surana, BJP state vice-president.
“The latest developments reflect the party’s weakness. It is unable to control an MLA who is publicly attacking the party president.” More alarmingly for Congress, BJP Vokkaliga leaders are trying to turn the Shivakumar-Zameer row into a Muslim vs Vokkaliga issue.
Congress functionaries privately admit to concern that the party leadership is unable to effectively exploit issues such as the PSI recruitment scam, in which an IPS officer was arrested; the bribery case in which the ACB jailed an IAS officer; 40% kickback charges levelled by civil contractors; failure of law and order over sensitive issues ranging from the hijab row to the Azaan controversy; and slow administration, as evidenced by files piling up. “I partially agree that we should focus on cornering the government on these issues,” said Congress MLA Priyank Kharge, who is credited with blowing the lid on the PSI recruitment scam.
“But the ongoing discourse over the CM candidate is being blown out of proportion. It is limited to an MLA’s rhetoric which is of no consequence.” BL Shankar, KPCC vicepresident, insisted Congress has done its bit. “Because of our efforts the PSI recruitment scheme is moving towards a logical end and minister KS Eshwarappa resigned over the contractor’s suicide case,” said Shankar. “The party will intensify its agitation on price rise and corruption after our national flag march on August 15.”





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