Karnataka Dashboard: Former CM Bommai writes to CM Siddaramaiah, asks him not to cut funds for projects during BJP rule

Karnataka Dashboard: Former CM Bommai writes to CM Siddaramaiah, asks him not to cut funds for projects during BJP rule

by Swarajya Staff - Wednesday, April 26, 2023 05:00 AM IST
Karnataka Dashboard: Former CM Bommai writes to CM Siddaramaiah, asks him not to cut funds for projects during BJP rule
Basavaraj Bommai, Former Chief Minister of Karnataka
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June 1:

Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has written a letter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, congratulating him for assuming office as the Chief Minister and requested to not cut the funds to the programmes and schemes initiated by the BJP government.

Bommai urged that there is a need to safeguard the interests of the important sectors of the state such as finance, education, health, women's development, infrastructure, farmers, downtrodden dalits and backward classes. 

Bommai listed the programs that the new government shouldn’t cut the grants and/or allocate sufficient funds. 'Short term interest free loans made available for the farmers', 'grants for the building 7600 classrooms under Viveka Yojana', 'projects like free dialysis, free bicycles, increased chemotherapy cycles for cancer patients should not be stopped', to name a few.

Bommai advised that the economic situation of the state should not deteriorate and the people of the state should not be indirectly burdened because of the free guarantees promised by the Congress government.

May 29:

The newly-elected Congress government in Karnataka has inducted 34 ministers in cabinet, to its full capacity. Siddaramaiah has allotted portfolios to his cabinet colleagues but retained most prominent portfolios with himself and his deputy D K Shivakumar.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will hold key portfolios of Finance, Cabinet Affairs, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms, Intelligence, Information, I.T. & B.T., Infrastructure Development and all unallocated portfolios.

Shivakumar gets Major and Medium Irrigation, Bengaluru City Development including BBMP, BDA, BWSSB, BMRDA, BMRCL (connected to these authorities related to Town Planning). Dr G.Parameshwara is given the Home Ministry (excluding Intelligence).

H.K. Patil gets Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Legislation, Tourism. K.H. Muniyappa is the minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs. Ramalinga Reddy is allotted Transport and Muzrai. Here is the list of all cabinet ministers.

May 28:

Upset over being denied a cabinet berth, senior Congress leader C Puttarangashetty, the Uppara community from Chamarajanagar district, whose name has been proposed by the party high command as the Deputy Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly, has refused to accept the post.

According to a local media report, several prominent legislators, including T.B. Jayachandra, Rudrappa Lamani, Ajay Singh, M. Krishnappa, Basavaraj Rayareddy, K.M. Shivalinge Gowda, are upset at not being included in the cabinet.

Supporters of Tanveer Sait, staged a protest in Mysore against his exclusion. Supporters of father-son duo Layout Krishnappa and Priya Krishna staged a protest near Raj Bhavan opposing the non-inclusion of their leaders in the cabinet.

Hungund MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar, who was widely expected to be made a minister as a reward for his role in the Panchamasali Lingayat agitation, was also upset at this exclusion. At least two MLCs, B.K. Hariprasad and Saleem Ahmed, who were expecting to find a place in the cabinet, are reportedly upset for not being made ministers.

May 27:

Nutana Kumari, wife of slain BJP leader Pravin Kumar Nettaru, has been removed from her job as the new Congress government in Karnataka has withdrawn the temporary appointment made by the previous BJP government.

After the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha’s district head Praveen Nettaru was killed by Islamists on 26 July 2022, the then-BJP government had promised to provide his family with basic facilities like a house and a job to one of the family members.

The erstwhile BJP government in Karnataka had provided a Group-C job on contractual basis to Praveen Nettaru’s wife Nutana Kumari in the then CM Bommai’s office after her husband was killed.

She was posted as a senior assistant at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat office and was given the post of an assistant in the Chief Minister's Relief Fund section of the Deputy Commissioner's office in Mangaluru.

Laxmi Hebbalkar is now a minister:

The newly-elected Congress government in Karnataka is all set to expand the state cabinet with the swearing-in ceremony of 24 Ministers scheduled today (May 27) at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.

Laxmi Hebbalkar, from Belagavi district will be the lone woman legislator who will make it to the cabinet headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

A Panchamasali Lingayat and a close associate of Shivakumar, Hebbalkar, was reelected Congress candidate from the Belagavi Rural constituency with a thumping margin.

Laxmi Hebbalkar has been embroiled in a series of controversies in the past, including facing multiple charges of irregularities and corruption. She also has been on the radar of investigative agencies.

May 25:

KSRTC Staff and Workers' Federation has written a letter to the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urging him to quickly implement the Congress party's manifesto promise of free travel to women in government buses.

Citing multiple instances of women passengers refusing to pay the fare and entering in to heated arguments with the bus staff, KSRTC have appealed to quickly take a decision at the government level in allowing the women passengers and instruct the concerned boards accordingly.

KSRTC has also requested for an appropriate estimate of the expenses that would be incurred on the state transportation boards in implementing the free transportation for women and release the advance grants to the concerned departments.

Covet for cabinet berth:

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar are both in New Delhi to seek the approval of Congress's top leadership for the cabinet expansion plan and allocation of ministerial portfolios.

The cabinet expansion is expected to be a tightrope walk for the party high command as Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar are lobbying hard for the inclusion of their supporters. The party on the other hand hopes to ensure adequate representation across castes, communities and districts.

The sanctioned strength of the Karnataka Cabinet is 34, including the Chief Minister. At least 50 Congress legislators are reportedly camped in Delhi, staking their claim for ministerial berths.

May 24:

Former minister and five-term Congress MLA from Mangalore, U T Khader was unanimously elected as the twenty-third speaker of the Karnataka legislative assembly today (24 May 2023).

Khader has been an MLA since 2007 from the Mangalore constituency, seat which was left vacant after the passing away of his father U T Fareed.

Khader (53) will be the youngest and the first Muslim leader to serve as speaker in Karnataka.

Lingayat demand

The All India Panchamasali Lingayat Mahasabha, led by Vijayananda Kashappanavar, a senior Congress member and Hungud legislator, adopted a resolution urging the new Congress-led government in Karnataka to appoint at least five Panchamasali leaders as cabinet members.

At least 16 Panchamasali Lingayats cutting across party lines were elected to the state assembly, out of which 10 Panchamasalis won contesting as Congress candidates.

The Mahasabha also urged BJP to elevate a Panchamasali Lingayat as the opposition leader.

Freebie woes

While the Congress government is yet to allot portfolios to the ministers who have sworn oath and induct new ministers to the state cabinet, people are asking the government to fulfil the promises made by the party during the election campaign.

Many people have refused to pay electricity bills, claiming that Congress promised free electricity if it won. Incidents have been reported where electricity board personnels were not allowed to enter the villages while they went to carry out meter readings, and some were even reportedly beaten while trying to disconnect the power supply for non-payment of dues.

Some women have also reportedly denied to pay the bus fare and refuse to de-board the bus saying the Congress had promised free bus travel to all women passengers.

Two of the Congress's major poll promises were giving 200 units of free electricity and free bus travel for women.

Congress faction feud

D K Suresh, a Lok Sabha member and brother of Deputy CM DK Shivakumar, sharply responded to minister MB Patil's statement that it would be Siddaramaiah who would continue as CM for five years. Suresh warned not to make instigative comments.

On his part, Shivakumar has reportedly warned the high command that he may revert to his original decision of not joining the cabinet if the Siddaramaiah supporters continue to make 'provocative' statements.

Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar plan to fly to Delhi to seek party approval for inducting their supporters into the cabinet. Reportedly, Shivakumar objected to the appointment of Siddaramaiah's allies into the cabinet.

May 23:

State Minister M.B. Patil on Monday (22 May) categorically asserted that Siddaramaiah will be the chief minister for the full term of five years and ruled out any power-sharing arrangement in the state.

Patil was addressing the media after meeting Shivaratri Desikendra Swami seer at Suttur Mutt.

He said there was no proposal of power-sharing for 30 months, adding that there are no indications that D K Shivakumar will be the chief minister after Lok Sabha elections. AICC secretary Venugopal has not said any anything about power-sharing during the press meet in Delhi, said Patil. Hence, Siddaramaiah will continue and complete five-year term.

May 22:

BJP MLA from Vijayapura, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal took oath as member of the 16th legislative assembly in the name of Hindutva and Gomata today (22 May 2023) in Vidhanasoudha.

Yatnal who is known as a Hindutva firebrand is one of the frontrunners for the position of the leader of opposition.

Senior Congress leader R V Deshpande who is the acting speaker of the legislative assembly until a new speaker is elected, administered oath to all the newly elected MLAs.

May 22:

A government school teacher in Karnataka was suspended after he had said in a social media post that Siddaramaiah as chief minister accumulated the most debts among previous Karnataka CMs in the last 24 years.

M G Shanthamurthy, a government school teacher in Kaanubenahalli, Chitradurga district, was suspended on May 20, coinciding with Siddaramaiah's appointment as Chief Minister.

A district official said "the teacher violated Karnataka Civil Services Rules, hence he was suspended". Higher officials have additionally ordered a departmental inquiry.

After assuming office, Siddaramaiah announced that the first cabinet meeting had given preliminary approval to implement the five guarantee schemes outlined in the Congress party's election manifesto.

May 21:

The Siddaramaiah-led cabinet granted "in-principle" approval to all five guarantees put forth by the Congress party during their pre-election campaign. The cabinet convened its first meeting following the swearing-in ceremony on 20 May.

"The implementation of these guarantees will take effect after the next cabinet meeting, scheduled to be held within a week," said Siddaramaiah.

The five guarantees promised by the Congress were:

  • Graha Lakshmi: every woman head of family to get a monthly cash dole of Rs 2,000.

  • Yuva Nidhi: Allowance of Rs 1,500 per month to every unemployed diploma holder for two years. Unemployed graduates will receive Rs 3,000 per month.

  • Graha Jyoti: Every family in the state will be provided 200 units of power for free.

  • Anna Bhagya: 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household.

  • Uchita Prayana: Free travel for women in public transport buses.

However, the Yuva Nidhi scheme approval has come with a rider. Only those unemployed students who have got a graduate degree or obtained a diploma in 2022-23 will be given the allowance and only for a period of two years.

Besides, in-principle approval does not imply final clearance.

Notably, after the Congress victory in the elections, when deputy CM DK Shivakumar was asked about the guarantees, he had said: "we should set up a mechanism. . .There should be a system to it", even going on to say that some women may not even want the Rs 2,000 dole promised by the party.

May 20:

According to a letter sent to the Karnataka governor by the Congress Legislative Party leader, eight Cabinet ministers will also take oath today along with Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar. These will be:

1. G. Parameshwara

2. K.H. Muniyappa

3. K.J. George

4. M.B. Patil

5. Satish Jarkiholi

6. Priyank Kharge

7. Ramalinga Reddy

8. B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan

May 19:

The Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha has demanded that Congress should elevate a senior leader each from the Lingayats, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Muslims as Deputy Chief Ministers in recognition of the widespread support the party garnered from these communities in the recently held state assembly polls.

An influential group within the community, the Mahasabha had spearheaded the agitation demanding a separate religious status for the Lingayats.

Senior Congress leader M.B Patil, who is set to be inducted into the new cabinet, and former bureaucrat Shivanand Jamadar are key office bearers of the Mahasabha.

Addressing media in Hubballi, Jamadar urged the new Congress government to once again forward the recommendation providing separate religion status to Lingayats to the Centre.

Congress rebel candidate askes mosques to return cheques

Congress leader Yousuf Shariff, aka KGF Babu, who unsuccessfully contested as an independent candidate from Chickpet constituency in Bengaluru city, has asked 64 masjids to return cheques worth Rs 17.30 crore that he issued them in the run-up to the recently concluded state election.

Yusuf Babu reportedly gave the masjids posted-dated cheques for Rs 25 lakh and more. The date for withdrawal was after May 16.

Yusuf Babu, who was widely speculated to be the front-runner for securing Congress nomination from the Chickpet constituency, rebelled against the party after he was denied the ticket. 

May 18:

Following days of hectic deliberations in Delhi after the newly-elected MLAs authorised party chief Mallikarjun Kharge to select the new CM, the Congress today announced Siddaramaiah as the CM and DK Shivakumar as his deputy. Shivakumar will also continue to be the KPCC chief till the Lok Sabha elections of 2024 are over.

The swearing-in of the new government will take place on 20 May, 2023.

May 15:

With the Congress high command in Delhi deliberating on its pick for the seat of Karnataka CM, in a new development, the Sunni Ulma Board and its leaders have now demanded that the post of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister ship be offered to winning candidates from the Muslim community.

“In about 72 constituencies, the Congress won purely because of the Muslims. We, as a community, have given a lot to the Congress. Now it is time we get something in return. We want a Muslim deputy chief minister and five ministers with good portfolios like Home, Revenue, and Education. It is the responsibility of the Congress to thank us with this. We held an emergency meeting in the Sunni Ulma board office to ensure all these are implemented," Karnataka Waqf Board chairman Shafi Sadi said.

May 13:

The Congress emerged comprehensively victorious in the Karnataka assembly elections.

The final results (in comparison to previous assembly) stood as:

Karnataka Dashboard: Former CM Bommai writes to CM Siddaramaiah, asks him not to cut funds for projects during BJP rule

May 12:

Bommai dismisses exit poll numbers

According to a report published in the Times of India, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stated that the exit polls on Karnataka are showing inaccurate numbers.

He said, "Last time, they (exit polls) predicted only 80 seats for BJP & 107 for Congress but it came reverse...we're confident with our ground reports and we will come with comfortable majority."

Earlier today, key BJP leaders in the state, including CM Basaravaraj Bommai met at former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's house for a discussion.

EVMs were never sent to South Africa, EC tells Congress

On Thursday, May 11, the Election Commission of India (ECI), responding to the Congress' complaint, said that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were never sent to South Africa.

Congress had raised a complaint about the 'inaccuracy' and 'non-reliability' of it. The EVMs used in Karnataka is believed to be manufactured recently at the Electronic Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) in Hyderabad.

May 10:

The voting for 'Karnataka 2023' concluded at 6 pm. According to the Election Commission, by 5 pm, the state had registered 65.69 per cent polling.

All eyes are now on the various exit polls that will be released tonight.

You can find Swarajya's forecast here.

Voting Day

The day to cast your vote has finally arrived! As the voters of Karnataka press the ballot button, the latest statistics released by the Election Commission of India reveals that Udupi district, at 13.28 per cent, has the highest number of votes polled as of 10 AM on Wednesday.

The lowest is Chamarajanagara district at 5.75 per cent as of 9 AM. As of the same time, the overall state turnout stands at 8.21 per cent.

After casting his vote, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa addressed the media. He said that the BJP is confident of forming the government this time by winning a comfortable majority.

ANI has quoted him as saying, "I request all people to cast their votes as early as possible. I am 100% sure they will vote in favour of the BJP. More than 75-80% will support BJP. We will win 130-135 seats."

As of 11 AM, 20.99 per cent voter turnout has been registered in Karnataka, according to the ECI.

As of 1 PM, 37.25 per cent voter turnout has been seen.

As of 3 PM, 52.18 per cent voter turnout has been recorded by the ECI. The EC is hoping that the state will record 75 per cent voter turnout this time.

Karnataka witnessed a record 73 per cent voter turnout. This was two per cent higher than the statistics from 2018 (71 per cent).

May 09:

PM Modi's open letter to Kannadigas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written an open letter to the people of Karnataka, as the state goes for polls tomorrow.

In the letter, he promised to make Karnataka a trillion dollar economy. Emphasising on the promises made in the manifesto, he wrote about the need to create 'next-gen urban infrastructure, modernise transport, and create opportunities for youth and women'.

SDPI and Congress in silent agreement?

BL Santosh, BJP's National General Secretary (Org), wrote a tweet earlier today, accusing the SDPI of extending support to the Indian National Congress by withdrawing candidates in coastal districts of Karnataka like Udupi and Mangaluru.

He further wrote as saying, "Nothing special about SDPI in this. It just exposes the Hindu hate nature of Congress which we need to be aware off (of)."

May 08:

Campaigning for the Karnataka 2023 election ended today with the polling set for 10 May. All 224 constituencies vote in a single-phase election on that day.

With the Prime Minister himself criss-crossing the state in the last lap, 'Karnataka 2023' was amongst the most fiercely contested Assembly elections of recent times.

And it was on the last day of campaigning that the EC sent notices to both Congress and BJP for alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

  • The Congress was sent a notice to 'clarify and rectify' the social media post mentioning the word 'sovereignty' for Karnataka.

  • The BJP was issued a notice for a newspaper ad in which it was alleged to have made specific but unverifiable allegations against the Congress.

Facial recognition tech to help voters skip queue in Bengaluru polling booth

According to a report published by MoneyControl, the Election Commission of India (ECI) will be using facial recognition technology in the upcoming Assembly election in Karnataka.

The new technology will be used on a trail basis in one polling station - room number 02 at the Ramnarayan Chellaram Government College on Palace Road, Bengaluru.

Quite similar to the DigiYatra app, voters will need to download the Chunavana application on their mobile phones to use the aforementioned.

Bommai people's choice for CM post

According to a report published in Zee News, incumbent BJP Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai is the most popular choice for the Chief Ministership. This was published in a survey that was conducted by Zee. The report also predicted a majority for the BJP in the upcoming election in Karnataka.

Kaun (Nahi) Banega Crorepati

As per a report published by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 41 per cent of the candidates contesting the Assembly election from Bengaluru are crorepatis. This means that the candidates have declared in a sworn affidavit that they have a net worth of above one crore rupees.

What the surveys say

According to an analysis by Swarajya's Venu Gopal Narayanan, the BJP is predicted to cross the simple majority mark by securing 113 seats in the upcoming polls. Read the full report here.

Other surveys indicate that the BJP will emerge as the single largest party in the election. A report published by TV9 Kannada, the numbers for all the parties are as follows:

BJP : 105-110

INC : 90-97

JDS : 19-22

OTH : 0-5

Another opinion poll by Zee News Matrize shows the below mentioned numbers:

BJP : 103-118

INC : 82-97

JDS : 28-33

OTH : 1-4

BJP moves EC, seeks derecognition of Congress

The campaign in Karnataka by the political parties is coming to a bitter finish as the BJP approaches the Election Commission seeking a derecognition of the Indian National Congress (INC).

Congress' Twitter handle tweeted as saying, "CPP Chairperson Smt Sonia Gandhi ji sends a strong message to 6.5 crore Kannadigas: The Congress will not allow anyone to pose a threat to Karnataka's reputation, sovereignty or integrity."

The BJP, while appealing for a derecognition of the Congress for Sonia Gandhi's "sovereignty" remark, also asked for an FIR to be filed.

May 07:

PM Modi addressed his last campaign rally for 'Karnataka 2023' in Nanjangud in Mysuru district.

Speaking here, he tore into the Congress for Sonia Gandhi's remarks on 6 May, referring to Karnataka's 'sovereignty'.

On 6th, the Congress leader had addressed a rally in Hubbali Dharwad and said that "The Congress will not allow anyone to pose a threat to Karnataka's reputation, sovereignty or integrity".

PM Modi referred to this specifically in his speech in Nanjangud today and said that: "They have been sitting in the Parliament for so many years, they've taken their oaths on the Constitution, and they speak like this?

"When a country becomes independent, then it is called a 'sovereign nation'. What Congress is saying means that the Congress considers Karnataka as separate from India"

"Do you agree with this? Will you punish such a Congress or not? This means that the Congress is openly advocating for separating for separating Karnataka from India.

"I had never thought that this disease of the tukde-tukde gang will reach the very summit of the Congress leadership"

Owaisi angry on Congress

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi addressed a party rally in Hubbali on Saturday.

According to this report, before the rally, Sonia Gandhi greeted the party's candidate from Hubbali Dharwad Central, Jagadish Shettar. Shettar was a senior BJP leader and has also been the CM of Karnataka between 2012 and 2013.

He had switched to the Congress after he was denied a ticket by the BJP from his traditional constituency.

Reacting to the Congress rally, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said: "Madam Sonia Gandhi ji, I did not expect that you would campaign for an RSS man. Jagadish Shettar is from the RSS. Unfortunately, Congress has lost the ideological battle. Is this your fight for secularism? Is this how you would fight against (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji?"

Notably, Owaisi's party is contesting only two seats in the Karnataka elections: Hubbali Dharwad East and Basavanabagewadi in Vijayapura district.

The other party with an overtly pro-minority agenda in Karnataka, SDPI, is too contesting only from 16 seats.

This AIMIM and SDPI restricting themselves to a handful of seats is expected to bring relief for the Congress as that will prevent a division of the minority votes.

Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, PM Modi concluded the second leg of his Bengaluru roadshow earlier today and is expected to address four rallies in other parts of Karnataka over the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, 8 May will be the last day of campaigning in Karnataka. The state votes on 10 May.

May 06:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a 26-kilometre long roadshow in Bengaluru. This comes at a crucial time as Karnataka goes to polls just four days later on the tenth of May.

PM Modi has been seen waving a huge crowds that has gathered to see him in person. BJP MP from Bengaluru South, Tejasvi Surya, is seen alongside him.

The roadshow is expected to last for four hours and will cover areas in South Bengaluru such as JP Nagara. MP Tejasvi Surya earlier today in a tweet wrote as saying, "The energy on the ground is exhilarating. Come out and be part of this electrifying atmosphere."

With the PM's roadshow, the BJP hopes to increase their tally in Bengaluru to almost 22 Assembly seats. Bengaluru faces a low voter turnout during the elections. At its peak in 2008, BJP won 17 seats in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, campaigning for the BJP in coastal Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath too held a roadshow in Udupi. Besides this, he was scheduled to address rallies in Puttur, Bantwal, and Karkala.

May 05:

Film The Kerala Story made its entry in the Karnataka election today. Addressing a rally in Bellary, this is what PM Modi said:

"In the past few years, a new, terrible form of terror has arisen. We can hear the bombs and guns of the terrorists but when they hollow out a society from the inside, that conspiracy makes no noise. Even the courts have expressed their concern on this form of terror.

"A film made on such a conspiracy, Kerala Story, is a topic of discussion these days. . .they say it is based on such a nefarious conspiracy of the terrorists.

"The Kerala Story film uncovers the conspiracy being put into action in such a beautiful state, Kerala, where people are so hard-working and talented.

"But look at the misfortune of the country. The Congress is being seen as standing with such destructive terror forces that seek to destroy society. Not only that, the Congress is also doing back-room deals with such forces that have terrorist tendencies".

Notably, on 3 May, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), regarded as the political wing of the now-banned, radical Islamic Popular Front of India (PFI), has come out in support of the Congress and JD(S) in the Karnataka elections.

Regarding Congress 'seen standing' forces of terrorist tendencies, in the past week, more than one Congress leader has spoken out strongly against the release of The Kerala Story.

On 2 May, the leader of Opposition in the Kerala assembly and senior Congress leader, VD Satheesan had said that the film is an attempt to insult people of the State, especially women.

Around the same date, another Congress leader from Kerala, MM Hassan had called for a ban on the film.

On 30 April, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor had tweeted a poster of the film with the caption: "It may be *your* Kerala story. It is not *our* Kerala story".

Suvarna-Jan Ki Baat opinion poll

The second and final pre-poll survey conducted by leading Kannada news channel Suvarna News 24x7 and Jan Ki Baat has predicted that ruling BJP will emerge as the single largest party in the May 10 Karnataka assembly elections.

The pre-poll however placed Congress slightly ahead of BJP in terms of vote share.

The opinion poll, based on survey of over 30000 respondents across various districts of the state, predicted anywhere between 100 to 114 seats for the ruling BJP, 86 to 98 seats for the principal opposition Congress and 20 to 26 seats for JD(S).

The survey forecast a 38-40.5% vote share for the BJP while Congress expected to garner a marginally higher vote share of 38.5-41.5%. A higher vote share for Congress with BJP bagging largest share of seats has been defining feature in the three of the last four assembly elections in the state.

Read the full piece here for more details.

In other news, on May 04, BJP Karnataka's Twitter handle shared a video that took on the Congress for their anti-Bajrang Dal stance. The song is inspired by senior Kannada actor Dr. Shivarajkumar's title song 'Jai Bajarangi' from a 2013 movie of his.

Taking a dig at the Congress', the video remarked that the party first opposed Sri Ram, and now, Hanuman. The video also contains footage of senior Congress leaders like former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief DK Shivakumar being disrespectful to Hindu sentiments.

May 04: On a day when the BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal held Hanuman Chalisa recitations across Karnataka, KPCC president DK Shivakumar told the press that if the Congress comes to power in the state, they will develop existing Hanuman temples in the state and also create new ones.

Not just that, the Congress would also establish a special board to oversee the development of the Anjanadri hills.

"We have a commitment to the development of Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman) temples across the state if the Congress party comes to power. Our party will also prioritise the construction of new Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman) temples in various parts of the state.

"We will establish a special board to oversee the development of Anjanadri Hill and ensure its preservation. We'll organise specific programs aimed at educating the youth about the principles and values embodied by Lord Anjaneya", Shivakumar was quoted as saying.

May 03:

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), regarded as the political wing of the now-banned, radical Islamic Popular Front of India (PFI), has come out in support of the Congress and JD(S) in the Karnataka elections.

Speaking to Times Now, the National General Secretary of SDPI, Elyas Thumbe, is reported to have said that—"We told our SDPI workers to go door to door and campaign for Congress and JD(S)".

This report also quotes him as saying: "The initial plan was to contest 100 seats, we dropped the plan as the ground situation looks fertile for Congress to win and for BJP to lose the Karnataka Election 2023".

In other updates, responding to the poll promise made by the Karnataka Congress to ban right-wing outfits such as the Bajrang Dal, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai hit out at the Congress saying, "They (Congress) want to appease SFI and PFI. They can’t equate national organisation with terror outfit. The Congress has lied to appease minority. Its just a poll gimmick. Bajrang Dal is a national organisation and state can not ban it.”

In other news, the Indian National Congress has promised to implement a State Education Policy in place of the National Education Policy (NEP), if voted to power.

May 02:

The Congress today released its manifesto for the Karnataka elections. Among the items in the manifesto, the prominent are:

  • filling up all vacant, sanctioned government posts within one year

  • ban on Bajrang Dal, VHP, and PFI

  • Natural Disaster Fund with an initial corpus of Rs 5,000 crores

  • high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in every gram panchayat 

  • Increasing milk production to 1.5 lakh litres

  • Reserve one-third of police appointments for women

  • minimum of one per cent of posts to be reserved for third gender

  • farm loans of upto Rs 10 lakh at zero interest

Earlier, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday (1 May) had hinted at a Rajasthan-style rollback of the recently adopted labour reforms by the CM B S Bommai led BJP government in Karnataka.

Speaking to the reporters, Kharge accused both the BJP governments at the Centre and Karnataka of following "anti-labour" law by passing the legislation amending the Factories Act, 1948.

The amendment allows for extending the working day for up to 12 hours a day.

In the name of ease of doing business, the Karnataka government has conceded the demands of multi-national companies by extending work hours, Kharge said.

This “is like setting the clock back”, Kharge was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

He also slammed the move allowing night shifts for women workers in factories.

In late March, the Congress unveiled four freebies (called 'guarantees').

  • Under 'Graha Lakshmi guarantee, the party has promised every woman head of the family will get a monthly cash dole of Rs 2,000.

  • Under the 'Yuva Nidhi' scheme, the party has promised that if voted to power in the state, it will provide an allowance of Rs 1,500 per month to every diploma holder for two years.

  • Graduates will receive Rs 3,000 per month.

  • Under the 'Graha Jyoti' promise, Congress has promised that every family in the state will be provided 200 units of power for free.

A cursory glance at these 'guarantees' and one can conclude that they will cause economic ruin for the state. Even a rough estimate of the cost of delivering promises could be upwards of Rs 1 lakh crores every year.

Also read: Why Karnataka's stellar economic growth in recent years faces serious threat from Congress's reckless and ruinous freebie promises

On the BJP front, in an interview to Dainik Jagran, Home Minister Amit Shah stated that a large number of 'labhartis' (beneficiaries) have benefited from the BJP schemes. He stated that the party will comfortably form the government this time.

Karnataka goes to polls on the tenth of May. The results will be announced on May 13.

In other news, BJP MP Pratap Simha apologised to the vendor whose water bottles and soft-drinks were stolen by a mob. This occurred during a rally in Gadag where Union Home Minister Amit Shah was attending. The Mysuru-Kodagu MP, taking to Twitter, issued an apology to Sameer Hasan and processed a reimbursement of Rs 35,000 using UPI.

May 01:

Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) national president JP Nadda released the party's manifesto earlier this morning. Titled 'Praja Dhwani', the manifesto will serve as a vision document for the ruling party.

Karnataka will go to polls on the tenth of May, and the results will be announced three days after polling.

The party has also promised the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), should it be voted to power. This will be based on the recommendations of a high-level committee which will be appointed specifically for the purpose. The party has also made a promise to introduce the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.

Other poll promises include free cooking gas cylinders, half a litre of milk everyday and five kilograms of rice for BPL card-holders.

Highlights from the manifesto:

- Uniform Civil Code implementation

- Rs 1500 crore for Kalyana Karnataka's tourism spots' development

- Eradication of manual scavenging

- BPL card holders to receive half a litre of milk everyday

- All BPL card holders to receive three free cooking gas cylinders in the month of Ugadi, Ganesh Chaturthi and Deepavali

- Affordable food for the poor through Atal Aahaara Kendras in every ward

- Ten lakh housing sites for the homeless

- Rs 30,000 fund to establish micro-storage facilities

- Government schools to undergo a holistic upgrade through the Vishveshvariah Vidya Scheme

- Free health check-up for senior citizens annually

The complete manifesto can be read here.

Additionally, the BJP manifesto also focuses on preservation of culture.

This includes promises such as:

- Allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for preserving temples

- Rs 25,000 to poor families to visit centres like Kashi, Kedarnath, Tirupati, etc

- Rs 1,500 crore for Kalyana, Banavasi, Parashurama, Kaveri & Gangapura Circuits

In other news, Convergent Institute has released the predicted numbers ahead of the election in Karnataka. According to the pre-poll survey, the BJP will emerge as the single largest party with 105 seats. The INC trails behind with 87 seats and the JDS is predicted to win in 32 constituencies.

The survey result was shared by CNN News18 Kannada on their Twitter handle.

April 30:

Addressing a gathering in Karnataka’s Kolar district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took potshots at the Opposition parties in the state, ahead of the Assembly elections. He said, “Today’s rally will make Congress and JDS lose sleep. Both the parties are a big hindrance to the process of development. The public has clean-bowled them”. 

He suggested that the ‘double-engine’ government of the BJP has focused on development. From cold storages to textile parks, the BJP government in the state has implemented schemes to boost farmers’ income.

He added that the Congress has an ‘85 per cent commission’ reputation and it is the BJP that deposited Rs 2.5 lakh crore to the farmers’ accounts.

BJP Karnataka is relying on the Prime Minister to carry out multiple rallies in the state ahead of the elections. PM Modi is scheduled to address around 19 rallies in the state.

April 29

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day tour of Karnataka to canvass votes for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

One of the first events on his list was a public meeting in Humnabad in Bidar District.

Here, while addressing the crowd, the Prime Minister is reported to have said: "Congress has started abusing me again. Every time Congress abuse me, it gets demolished. Congress has abused me 91 times…Let Congress abuse me, I will keep on working for the people of Karnataka.

On 27 April, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, while addressing a rally in his home district of Kalaburagi in Karnataka, had called Prime Minister Modi ‘a poisonous snake’. 

April 28

The Indian National Congress (INC) has sought a ban on Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from campaigning in Karnataka ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. Alleging that the two have made statements against minorities, senior Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and others met with the Chief Election Commissioner to request the same.

Earlier, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi promised free travel for women in public transport buses across Karnataka from the first day of his government, as the fifth poll promise of the party.

Gandhi also alleged that the BJP government in Karnataka was riddled with corruption and scams. He also said that the Congress would eliminate 40% corruption to provide funds for the party's poll promises.

Gandhi made these remarks during a public meeting in Mangaluru.

Gandhi earlier asserted that the reservation cap of 50 per cent needs to go. Replying to a question from a fisher-woman in Udupi, Gandhi stated that the “cap of 50 per cent reservation was not fixed on scientific studies and must be removed”. 

April 27: All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief Mallikarjun Kharge, addressing a rally in his home district of Kalaburagi in Karnataka, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘a poisonous snake’. 

Speaking to a gallery of Congress supporters, he remarked that PM Modi is like a ‘poisonous snake’ and whether one thinks it’s poison or not, they will die, should they lick it. This comment drew sharp criticism from several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. 

Issuing a clarification, Kharge was reported saying, “It wasn't meant for PM Modi, what I meant was BJP's ideology is 'like a snake'. I never said this personally for PM Modi, what I said was their ideology is like a snake and if you try to touch it, your death is certain.” 

Bengaluru South’s Member of Parliament, Tejasvi Surya, tweeted saying, “This will be a turning point in Karnataka elections. People here do not accept crass personal comments against anyone, let alone our most loved PM. Just wait and watch how the last nail on the Congress coffin will be hammered on May 10th.”

April 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 50 lakh karyakartas of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday. He assured the BJP workers that the party will return to power and “will register a record majority”. BJP’s top brass has been deployed to campaign heavily in what is being called as a crucial election for the party. 

A day ago, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took part in a roadshow and addressed a public rally in Mandya - Karnataka’s Vokkaliga heartland. Addressing the booth-level workers, PM Modi said, “Victory on a booth ensures victory in the elections. Your spirit of winning the booth is what wins the election for the party”. 

Furthermore, he took a dig at the Congress party and added that the Congress represents corruption. He said, “Congress means false guarantee, Congress means guarantee of corruption. Congress is in that state where they cannot give any guarantee. And their warranty has also expired”. 

Ahead of the election in Karnataka, the BJP has deployed its top brass which includes ministers, actors and other star campaigners to rally for support from the voters of the state. PM Modi is scheduled to spend almost seven to eight days in the state beginning from April 28 to May 07. He will be holding around 15 public meetings and will take part in many roadshows across the state. 

April 26: Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, made his maiden appearance in Karnataka ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. He is addressing a public rally and took part in a roadshow, welcomed with cheers by BJP supporters. Mandya’s Member of Parliament Sumalatha Ambareesh was seen sharing the stage during the roadshow. 

Twitter users were quick to point out the historical connection between Mandya and Gorakhpur. It is said that Nath Sampradhay has a close relationship with Karnataka's Adichunchanagiri Math, which is revered by lakhs of Vokkaligas. The Mandya-Mysuru-Chamarajanagara belt has been particularly tough for the BJP in the past. This move is seen as an attempt to further the efforts to woo Vokkaliga voters in the region. 

He announced that Karnataka has been allotted land in Ayodhya, in order to build the guest house. This is in relation to the Ram Mandir being built in the state. He added that Lord Ram’s closest companion, Hanuman, was born in Karnataka. 

26 April: An upset DK Shivakumar, current president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), was reported as saying, “Everything cannot be on time if you all have a watch. I know when to call a press conference and when to call an emergency one and when you will come. Don't try to blackmail me.” 

According to a report published by India Today, Shivakumar was an hour late to the press conference organised at KPCC where reporters from the regional media had gathered for over an hour. The reason for his delayed arrival was blamed on a ‘technical glitch’ with his helicopter. 

Soon after the incident, the senior Congress leader was reportedly asking his media coordinator to share the names of the reporters so he can speak to their management.  

25 April: The Supreme Court on Tuesday (25 April) directed that the Karnataka government's decision to scrap the 4 per cent Muslim quota will not be implemented till 9 May.

The apex court bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna said that the earlier regime of 4 per cent quota for Muslims will remain effective till 9 May, when the next hearing is scheduled.

In another development, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is canvassing votes for the BJP in Karnataka, said that former Karnataka chief minister Jagdish Shettar, who recently defected from BJP to Congress, will lose the election in the upcoming state Assembly polls.

"There'll be no loss, Jagdish Shettar will himself lose election, Hubballi has always voted for BJP and all workers of BJP are united", said Shah.

At his end, Shettar came out in defence of former CM Siddaramaiah for the latter's 'corrupt Lingayat chief minister' comment.

"His comment was only on the present CM Bommai and not all Lingayat CMs. He did not comment on other Lingayat CMs", said Shettar.

24 April: A video of former CM Siddaramaiah has been going viral on social media in which, when asked about the BJP's stance that a Lingayat should be the next chief minister, the Congress veteran said, "There's already a Lingayat chief minister (Basavaraj Bommai). He's the root of all the corruption in the state."

The BJP argues that Siddaramaiah's statement has demonised the entire Lingayat community, who are the most decisive electoral constituency in the state.

21 April: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K S Eshwarapppa said that not just Lingayats but everyone who is with Hindutva, whether they are Lingayat, Kuruba, or Brahmin, should vote for the BJP. 

On being asked about speculations that the Lingayat community is upset with the party, Eshwarappa said, “We have fielded many Lingayat candidates and they support us. But we don’t ask that only Lingayats should vote for us. Those who are Hindutvavadis, should all vote for BJP. Whether they are Lingayat, Kuruba, or Brahmin.” 

Eshwarappa announced his retirement from electoral politics before the BJP's list of candidates was announced but continues to campaign for the party.

He received a phone call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21 April, the video of which he shared on social media. In the video, Eshwarappa was seen assuring the Prime Minister that the party would win the upcoming elections. 

20 April: The Congress released its list of star campaigners for Karnataka on 19 April. In a list of 40, the 37th name is of Imran Pratapgarhi.

Since the list was made public, social media has been flooded with videos of Pratapgarhi showering superlative praise on mafia-turned-politician, the late Atiq Ahmed.

A well-known poet and graduate of Allahabad University, Pratapgarhi has been seen sharing the dais many a time with Atiq Ahmed and his aides.

In other Congress-related news, former CM Siddaramaiah rehashed a claim he made in the run-up to the 2018 assembly polls, that he was contesting the last election of his political career.

Addressing a large gathering near Nanjangud before proceeding to file his nomination papers for the Varuna Assembly segment, Siddaramaiah said the upcoming state elections would be the last time he will be directly entering the electoral fray and anointed his son Yathindra and grandson Dhawan Rakesh as his successors in electoral politics.

19 April: The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Karnataka issued a statement asking the media to clarify that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tamil Nadu state president K Annamalai did not bring cash to the state via helicopter.

The statement added that there was no violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

The allegations against Annamalai were first made by Vinaykumar Sorake, who is a Congress candidate from the Kaup constituency.

In other news, Income Tax officials conducted a raid at the Bengaluru residence of suspended Congress leader Yousuf Shariff, aka KGF Babu, as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected tax evasion, multiple Kannada TV channels reported.

Also read: Congress aspirant Yousuf Shariff aka KGF Babu, who once declared Rs 1743 crore assets in his election affidavit, faces Income Tax heat

18 April: Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, whose home was burnt by Muslim mobs during deadly Bengaluru riots in mid-2020, quit the assembly after being denied a ticket. Srinivas Murthy represented the Pulakeshi Nagar Assembly constituency of Bengaluru.

Also read: Two probable Congress candidates in Bengaluru will be a stark reminder of how factional feuds within the party have often triggered riots, burnt city

17 April: Jagadish Shettar, who the BJP did not pick to contest in the upcoming election, joined the Congress today.

Shettar, who has won six elections in the past, was reportedly advised by the BJP to sit out the 10 May Karnataka election and not contest from his Hubballi-Dharwad Central constituency.

Even Home Minister Amit Shah is said to have spoken to Shettar personally on 15 April and tried to convince him.

"No one spoke to me nor tried to convince me," Shettar however said after joining the Congress party.

Also read: Jagadish Shettar, an incidental beneficiary of BJPs ideology-meets-social engineering strategy in Karnataka, finally runs out of luck

14 April: Denied a ticket by the BJP to contest from the Athani seat in the upcoming Karnataka election, former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi joined the opposition Congress party and resigned from his seat in the Karnataka Legislative Council on 14 April.

Also read: Karnataka: Former Deputy CM Laxman Savadi decides to quit BJP after he was denied a ticket

13 April: The opposition in Karnataka has created a controversy over the entry of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation's (GCMMF's) Amul brand in the Bengaluru market through quick commerce platforms. 

The opposition has alleged that the entry of Amul into the Bengaluru market could adversely affect the Nandini brand owned by the Karnataka Milk Federation.

The other political overtone being given to the issue is that of PM Modi and Home Minister Shah favouring the Milk Cooperative of their state (Amul is from Gujarat) over the domestic milk cooperative of Karnataka.

12 April: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced its first list of candidates for the Karnataka assembly election. It comprises 189 names, including Congress defectors.

R Ashok, a BJP MLA and Revenue Minister, will run for re-election in Padmanabhanagar, and also in Kanakapura, where he will compete against the state Congress chief, D K Shivakumar.

– V Somanna, an MLA and Housing Minister, will challenge Congress leader Siddaramaiah in Varuna. Additionally, he will be running in Chamarajnagar, a stronghold of the Congress.

– Bommai will contest in Shiggaon, his current seat.

– B Y Vijayendra, son of former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, will contest from Shikaripura. Yediyurappa has won from here seven times since 1983.

– Yashpal Suvarna, known for his campaign against the hijab and his involvement in cow protection, is set to contest for the first time. He will run in place of MLA Raghupathi Bhat, in the key coastal town of Udupi.

– C T Ravi will contest from Chikkamagaluru.

– Anand Singh, who defected from Congress to join the BJP in 2019, will not contest from Hospete. Instead, his son Siddharth Singh will run for the seat.

On the Congress front, Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar reiterated that if his party wins the upcoming assembly elections, it would restore the 4 per cent Muslim quota that had been scrapped the current government.

10 April: Amid stiff competition between him and Siddaramaiah for the CM's post if Congress secures a majority, KPCC president D K Shivakumar has attempted to bring AICC chief M Mallikarjun Kharge's name into the race.

Shivakumar's statement that he would "love" to work under Kharge if he becomes the Chief Minister and that there are voices within the party that "injustice" has happened to the veteran leader in the past, have got tongues wagging among many in the state unit of the party.

Also read: Shivakumar-Siddaramiah squabble over CM post revives long-festering demand to anoint Dalit for top post

6 April: Padma Shri awardee Shah Rasheed Ahmed Quadri has thanked Prime Minister Modi after he received the award on 5 April.

While interacting with Prime Minister Modi, Quadri said, "I waited for five years during the UPA government, but it didn't happen. I did not expect the BJP government to give it to me. But you proved me wrong and I am really thankful for that".

4 April: Senior BJP Leader Haladi Srinivas Shetty, known as 'Vajpayee of Kundapura', has withdrawn from electoral politics.

29 March: The polling for Karnataka Assembly elections will be held on 10 May and the results will be declared on 13 May, the Election Commission announced.

Addressing a press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said the notification for the elections to the 224-member assembly will be issued on April 13 and the last date for filing nomination papers will be April 20.

The Karnataka Assembly has 224 seats with a simple majority at 113.

28 March: The BJP-led state government officially notified the rules for availing 10 per cent reservation in education and employment under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category. The EWS quota was introduced by PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government through a constitutional amendment in January 2019.

On the Congress front, a video of Karnataka Congress Chief DK Shivkumar surfaced on Wednesday (March 29) where he is seen showering Rs 500 notes at a procession, a day before the Election Commission announced elections in the state.

The video was shot during the ‘Praja Dhwani Yatra’ organised by the Congress near Bevinahalli in Mandya district of South Karnataka.

27 March: In what is being increasingly viewed as a politically astute manoeuvring ahead of the upcoming Karnataka Legislative Assembly elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government last week abolished religion-based reservations by scrapping 4 per cent reservation given to Muslims in Karnataka under 2B of Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

The state cabinet distributed the disbanded 4 per cent quota to two politically influential communities — Veerashaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas — at 2 per cent each in jobs and admissions in educational institutions.

The state cabinet also decided that the Muslim community in the state will avail of benefits under the 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).

While the decision by the BJP government in Karnataka to abolish religion-based reservations predictably triggered a furore, another momentous move to introduce internal reservation within the overall 17 per cent quota for the Schedule Castes (SC) did not garner as much attention.

Also read:

-How Bommai-led BJP government deftly navigated caste cauldron to reconfigure reservation matrix in Karnataka

-Bold gambit by BJP government to carve out internal reservation within Dalit quota may queer pitch for Congress

Swarajya's series on the electoral history of Karnataka and predictions for 'Karnataka 2023'

-Karnataka: Understanding the great 2019 reset

-How can the BJP lose in Karnataka?

-In maps: An electoral history of Karnataka

-The JD(S) finally enters terminal decline

-Karnataka 2023 — a matter of margins

-Karnataka 2023 — the reality of triangularity

-Karnataka 2023 — vote share tranche analysis

-Karnataka 2023: Here's what this prominent opinion poll needs to explain

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