Cuss Words, Personal Attacks Multiply Ahead of Karnataka Assembly Elections
File image of BS Yeddyurappa (L) and Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah (R) . (File Photo)
Bengaluru: As the election temperature soars, the public discourse has plummeted to a new low in poll-bound Karnataka. Top leaders of ruling Congress, main opposition BJP and the third player JDS have been attacking each other leaving dignity and diplomacy behind.
On Monday, firebrand BJP leader and MP Shobha Karandlaje was the first to launch a salvo. Attacking Home Minister R Ramalingareddy over the killing of two youth in Mangaluru, Yeddyurappa’s close confidante said that Reddy was from the NIMHANS, India’s premier mental health hospital based in Bengaluru.
Hitting back, Reddy said that Shobha herself was from NIMHANS and she will be send back to it. Incidentally, the Home Minister lives close to NIMHANS campus in the southern part of the city. In Karnataka, mentally unsound people are referred to as “NIMHANS Giraaki (meaning NIMHANS client/customer)”. In their eagerness to settle the score, both the leaders seem to have forgotten that they are actually mocking the people with mental health issues.
Next day it was the turn of state BJP chief and CM nominee B S Yeddyurappa’s turn to attack Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Addressing the media at Chitradurga in central Karnataka, the former CM described Siddaramaiah as a mentally unsound person.
He said “Siddaramaiah is behaving like a madman. I think he has gone mad”. Yeddyurappa was responding to Siddaramaiah’s reply to UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s comments on him. The monk CM, who is one of BJP’s star campaigners in Karnataka, had questioned Siddaramaiah’s claims that he is a Hindu. Yogi had asked Siddaramaiah to ban beef eating to prove that he is also a Hindu. Responding to that an angry Siddaramaiah had said that Yogi was from Godse’s Hinduism and he was from Vivekananda’s Hinduism.
Addressing Siddaramaiah, Yeddyurappa said, “Avanige Yogi bagge maathanaado arhathe illa” (he has no right to talk about Yogi). Yeddyurappa has also warned Siddaramaiah that people would beat him up if he does not stop calling him a jailbird.
The JDS state chief and former CM H D Kumaraswamy has also attacked Siddaramaiah for saying that Kumaraswamy will never become the CM again. Former deputy CM K S Eshwarappa has also been making extremely undignified statements against Siddaramaiah for a long time. In the past Siddaramaiah has hit back at him calling Eshwarappa an immature, stupid person.
Speaking to News18, Eshwarappa has defended his statements. He said “I say what I want to say. Nobody can stop me”.
Using expletives and unparliamentary language against political rivals is not a new thing in Karnataka. A few years ago, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had openly abused the then Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa calling him a “bloody bastard”. He had later apologised for his outbursts.
With elections just three months away, the expletives and abuses are expected to get louder and dirtier.