Bengaluru: Never in the history had the state of Karnataka witnessed politics of polarisation like it did in the year 2022. The agenda for the upcoming Assembly elections in 2023 (elections will be held tentatively in less than four months) is clearly set for political parties.
Such polarisation was witnessed only during the times of Ayodhya movement. The situation was, however, controlled and the state bounced back to normalcy after a certain period of time. But, the communal polarisation following the hijab crisis has touched upon most of the population and society remains deeply divided.
The series of developments following policy decisions have also seemed to have impacted the psyche of the people of Karnataka. The events which unfolded in Karnataka attracted global attention for all the wrong reasons.
The ruling BJP is making it clear that it is going to fight elections on Hindutva plank. Karnataka Congress President D. K. Shivakumar even raised doubts on the Mangaluru blast case being out of proportion for electoral gains by the ruling party.
He also questioned the declaration of the incident as an act of terror by the police department.
Recently, Shivakumar went on to charge the ruling BJP that fearing the popularity of the Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi, the BJP government is bringing up the fears of Covid-19 back in the country.
The Karnataka unit of Congress has officially declared that internal surveys indicated that the party will win with a comfortable majority in Karnataka.
The ruling BJP on the other hand, has enacted the Anti-Cow Slaughter Act, Anti-Conversion Act, redesigned the school syllabus, included content on Veer Savarkar, deleted glorification of Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan, made rule boycotting hijab in classrooms, supported boycott of Muslim traders to carry out business in Hindu religious places and fares, recently, got the portrait of Veer Savarkar installed in the assembly hall of the Belagavi Suvarna Soudha, making it very clear that Hindutva is going to be the main agenda in the upcoming elections for the party.
Bitter war of words between BJP National General Secretary B. L. Santhosh and former CM and JD (S) leader H. D. Kumaraswamy has clearly indicated the saffron party’s calculations to make inroads into the old Mysuru region, considered as the bastion of JD (S).
Santhosh launched a scathing attack on the Janata Dal-Secular and called it a party of a family, where only family and relatives shared the power. Kumaraswamy had questioned Santhosh in what way he is connected to Karnataka. He also stated that he can give a list of politicians hailing from families in BJP.
Former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda has declared that he will install JD-S into power. Kumaraswamy warned Santhosh that he will have to come to his doorsteps after the elections.
On the other hand, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also set to make its presence felt in the state. State convener Prithvi Reddy is repeatedly talking about alternative politics pursued by his party, which national parties will never be able to take up.
Experts have said that Karnataka is at the crossroads and the results of Assembly elections in 2023 is going to decide the path of the state ahead.
By M. K. Ashoka