In Congress, it's a crab eat crab world

The Hindutva-Hindu tirade. Terrorists, cries the Congress. Corrupt, says the BJP.

‘I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.’
Adlai Stevenson

Aah! But we prefer the lies, now, don’t we? The insinuations and conspiracy theories, the bluster and braggadocio. That’s Politics. The Alternate Reality.
That’s a sign, election season is well and truly here. There’s the mandatory mud-slinging at political rallies where the slurs, slings and barbs draw blood. There’s the tit for tat eliminations and killings in Honnavar and Udupi, and the intimidation and scare tactics of the intrusive holier than thou Senes, who feel its their God-given right to barge into people’s homes and tell Hindu mothers what their daughters are doing after college hours –canoodling with boys of another faith. The Election Commission has already been here, and said it’ll be a single phase poll. The Hindutva-Hindu tirade. Terrorists, cries the Congress. Corrupt, says the BJP.

And now comes a major leak of an internal survey conducted by nothing less than the KPCC!

Whoever leaked it wants one thing and one thing alone - the chief minister’s head. Not only does it go against the earlier survey that showed Mr Siddaramaiah was riding high, but leaking it on the day that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah meets the Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was pure genius.
And the survey simply buries him.

Siddaramaiah, the survey says, will bring in a mere 77-81 seats in the 224 member assembly. The BJP is snapping at his heels at 69-76, and wait for this, his bête noire H. D. Kumaraswamy will win a whopping 65 seats.

That’s a helluva comedown! If, that is, you believe it! Let us look at the conclusions that have been drawn. Far-fetched? Real? You decide. The Congress, BJP and the JD(S) are almost neck and neck. Siddaramaiah will be unable to cross the magic number of 113, losing nearly 50 seats, mostly in Old Mysore. The JD(S)’ H.D. Kumaraswamy, is the most favoured chief ministerial candidate. And the second choice for a Congress Chief Minister is Dr G. Parameswar. And wait for this …that the Congress could win if they quickly announce a Dalit candidate for chief minister! No prizes for guessing who’s a Dalit here. It’s not Siddaramaiah!

The chief minister’s critics within the party have long held that Mr Siddaramaiah tends to surround himself with only his own men, and that Congress stalwarts who have been deliberately kept out of the inner circle could do little and had to hang back, especially when the CM had the ear of the party big bosses. This allowed a collection of not so stellar characters to hold sway. And when he went on to win both by-elections in Nanjangud and Gundluput, as convincingly as he did, he became virtually unstoppable. This was Superman Siddaramaiah, impervious to all manner of Krypton.

We haven’t heard the CM’s reaction to this internal survey as yet. But curiouser and curiouser, the KPCC chief Dr Parameswar, seen as the man who benefits from it all, was the first to quickly distance himself from it.

Ahem! And are these standard questions for a survey? Whether the CM’s ‘tilt’ towards Ahinda could bring in the votes, and whether his “arrogance” had alienated the voter? The conclusions are equally disturbing – that there is all round apathy towards the Congress government, that the young had turned away from the party, that the Bhagyas were having no effect, that both the Cauvery issue where a verdict is due slap-bang in the middle of the campaign as well as his handling of Mahadayi was going to have a negative impact.

What it doesn’t say is this. The snail like industrialization and the complete lack of interest in job creation, and the shambolic management of the IT capital where – sorry, Mr Deshpande – it doesn’t qualify for any status, let alone the second capital of the country. Power cuts, traffic gridlock, poor connectivity and shoddy garbage disposal.

That’s the antithesis of the Modi mantra that the aspirational young who want to move up in the world will always be drawn to. Four and a half years into running the state with an unquestioned majority, it’s a mystery why none of this has been given top billing.

And, I had thought all along, that despite the rumblings within the Congress, given the falling out between Mr Eshwarappa and Mr Yeddyurappa, it was the BJP which had the much bigger problem. Clearly not. The BJP has quietly and efficiently put its house in order. Thus far, neither the Congress’ ploy of driving a wedge through the Lingayat community with the manufactured controversy of a separate religious status for the Veerashaivas nor the language issue and the flag and now Mahadayi is going to break the Lingayat backing for Mr Yeddyurappa. The community does not want to be represented by a party led by a man from another caste. That’s the truth.

Will Karnataka reject the Congress – backed by Ahinda, backwards, and minorities – and the BJP – backed by the forward caste – and plump for the third choice – the Janata Dal (S) which under H.D. Kumaraswamy had 20 months in power?

The Congress’ biggest problem has always been its lack of unity, and its storied internal dissent where one leader works against the other. The crab metaphor - ‘why is the Malayali like the crab – one crab will not allow the other crab to climb out of the hole and will always pull him down – could now be the Congress in Karnataka! 120 days and counting…and the lies don’t stop. No, no. I meant the truth.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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