Bengaluru: With the focus now shifting to the 14 constituencies of North Karnataka that are going to the polls on April 23, the contours of the campaign strategy too seem to be changing.
While Congress and JD (S) are continuing to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, senior Congress leaders from North Karnataka observe that their leaders are now also pursuing their own personal agendas too.
They point to former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah's recent assertion that he would become CM again and the fight between ministers D.K. Shivakumar and M.B. Patil over the Lingayat issue.
They also note that on Friday, Mr Jarkiholi stirred a hornet's nest by making comments against Brahmins, which were factually incorrect, and could hurt the party's prospects in many pockets of Mumbai-Karnataka.
Mr Siddaramaiah's statement on Thursday that he would be the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Congress in 2023 has sent shock waves in the hinterland of north Karnataka, they claim. "We are still unable to understand why he made such a statement when this is a parliamentary election. It has gone viral and is having a negative impact on the party," maintained one legislator. Going by these Congress leaders, the Lingayat controversy between Mr Shivakumar and Mr Patil has become a point of discussion all over North Karnataka , and could also go against the Congress party in the region.
Others in the Congress warn that if workers of the coalition partners did not back their candidates in Thursday's polling, the pattern could repeat in the northern constituencies. “The possibility of sabotage is greater in the north,” they contend....