Bengaluru: The social media tug-of-war between the two leading political parties, the BJP and Congress twitter, has begun heating up once again with the Karnataka Assembly elections just around the corner.
Here’s a recipe for a BJP star campaigner. We don’t recommend it. pic.twitter.com/j5lIAvc4Oa
— Congress (@INCIndia) January 11, 2018
On Friday, the Congress put out a particularly stinging video mocking UP CM Yogi Adityanath, sparking strong reactions from the BJP.
The one-minute-long video from the @INCIndia official handle, with the hashtag #RecipeForDisaster, targeted Yogi as the one who puts together a communal cauldron with a mixture of criminal records, lies, misogyny and saffron tint and “served with hate” and with “zero attention to development” — a video that seems to take on Yogi head-on, a week after he campaigned for the BJP in many rallies.
The video also comes just two days after many Congress leaders said there are “terrorist elements” in the BJP and VHP — an issue that has raised the hackles of BJP leaders as well.
BJP leaders took strong objection to the video, with spokespersons like Nalin Kohli saying it is in bad taste. “But then good taste and the Congress have always been miles apart,” Kohli told News18.
Another spokesperson S Prakash too condemned the video stating that “mocking an elected chief minister shows how the Congress has stooped to such low level of politics”.
The Congress defended itself saying this is merely tit-for-tat: “The BJP has mocked so many Congress leaders in the past, but if we mock one of them, they get outraged. Yogi Adityanath came to Karnataka to speak about development, when Karnataka is the No.1 in the economy with Bengaluru getting the tag of the most dynamic city in the world. Someone who can’t take care of children’s health in his backyard shouldn’t advise us on development.”
Clearly, the Karnataka campaign is going to be not just about development or ‘vikas’ but also about Hindutva, with BJP leaders setting the agenda on this, raising issues of RSS workers’ deaths, cow slaughter and protection of Hinduism in the last few weeks.
Just a few days back, the UP CM had questioned if Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah is really a Hindu, as he endorses beef. This led to the CM’s repartee that he is a Hindu who follows humanism, as against communalism, and the BJP doesn’t have any sole right to protect Hinduism.
There has been other mud-slinging on Twitter, with Siddarmaiah asking Yogi to visit ration shops and Indira canteens during his visits to Karnataka as this could help him (Yogi) solve poverty in his own State — Yogi responding that Karnataka has seen the maximum farmers’ suicides.
Clearly, the tone of the campaigning is going to get uglier in the coming weeks, from what we have seen so far, with the Congress desperate to keep its hold over its largest State and the BJP trying to gain a foot-hold in the South through Karnataka.
Both Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to come to Bengaluru in the last week of January for pre-election campaigns.