For the upcoming Karnataka elections on May 10, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will kick off his Karnataka campaign in Kolar next month. This move is being viewed as a show of defiance, as it was in Kolar where Rahul made the remark about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname that resulted in his two-year imprisonment and disqualification from parliament.
State party chief DK Shivakumar stated that Rahul will start his Satyameva Jayate Rally from Kolar, the very place where he made the controversial statement that was condemned by the BJP.
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During a rally in Kolar ahead of the 2019 elections, Rahul had quipped, “How come all thieves have the common surname Modi,” making a reference to fugitive businessmen Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi.
Purnesh Modi, a BJP leader from Gujarat, had filed a case against Rahul’s comment, as it was viewed as an insult to Other Backward Classes. However, Gandhi refused to apologise for his remark.
On Friday (March 24), Rahul was disqualified from the Lok Sabha, which sparked a massive opposition uproar. This disqualification has been seen as a “silver lining” by the Congress, as it has brought 18 opposition parties together, serving as a catalyst for unifying the opposition before the next general election in 2024.
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In related news, the Election Commission has announced the poll date for Karnataka, where the ruling BJP is hoping for a second consecutive term in power
In 2018, the Congress, in alliance with HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular, formed the government in Karnataka, but lost power within a year when several MLAs defected. The BJP was accused of orchestrating the collapse of the government.
In the upcoming election, the Congress is running independently and DK Shivakumar, a senior party leader, stated that there will be no hung assembly and that the Congress will emerge as the single largest party.
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The current MLA of Kolar is a member of Kumaraswamy’s party, and when asked if Siddaramaiah, another senior party leader, will contest from Kolar as his second constituency, Shivakumar clarified that Siddaramaiah has only applied for one constituency, and the party’s Election Committee will decide on the second constituency.