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Yogi Adityanath's Stock Heads South in Poll-bound Karnataka After Bypoll Blues

Yogi Adityanath in his campaign speeches in Karnataka has attacked the Congress on development and law and order, but he has met with a lot of resistance from the Karnataka Congress in the past few months.

D P Satish | CNN-News18dp_satish

Updated:March 14, 2018, 8:46 PM IST
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Yogi Adityanath's Stock Heads South in Poll-bound Karnataka After Bypoll Blues
File photos of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
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Bengaluru: Leaders of the ruling Congress and the main opposition BJP in Karnataka were glued to their television sets on Wednesday to check the results of the bypolls in Uttar Pradesh.

Till a few months ago, the bypolls were considered to be insignificant, but that impression gave way to curiosity and it slowly grew into anxiety over the last few months.

The reason for this growing interest was one man – Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath - who has emerged as one of BJP's star campaigners in Karnataka.

So when the BJP lost both Gorakhpur and Phulpur to a resurgent SP and BSP combine, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah broke into a big smile.

Taking a jibe at Adityanath, he advised him to focus more on his state and stop lecturing Karnataka on development. “BJP has suffered humiliating loss in the Lok Sabha seats held by the CM & DyCM of UP. Congratulations to SP & BSP for this historic victory. Unity among the non-BJP parties has played a key role,” he tweeted.

“Perhaps, Yogi Adityanath should spend less time lecturing Karnataka on development” he added.

Adityanath in his campaign speeches in Karnataka has attacked the Congress on development and law and order, but he has met with a lot of resistance from the Karnataka Congress in the past few months.

Siddaramaiah called him a communal leader, whose sole intention is to polarise Karnataka voters on Hindu-Muslim lines.

An unfazed Yogi, however, has already visited Karnataka more than four times in the last three months forcing the Congress to close their ranks.

According to state Congress leaders, a win for the BJP would have emboldened both Yogi and state BJP. But the humiliating defeat in seats vacated by Yogi and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya has dampened the spirits of saffron party and energized the Congress.

The Congress has to win Karnataka once again to be relevant in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and it knows that every setback for the BJP would be a gain for it. The state Congress is using UP bypoll defeat to poke fun at the BJP and also enthuse its own cadres.

It is hoping that Yogi may not do extensive campaigning in the state after Wednesday's defeat.

AICC spokesman Brijesh Kalappa said that even if Yogi campaigns, it will have no impact. "Yogi has lost his own seat. Who cares for him in Karnataka? He is a nobody. He can't help the BJP here," he said. The state BJP leadership, on the other hand, has remained silent and is pointing the fingers at its high command in New Delhi.
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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