Consolidation of Muslim votes has become the cardinal focus of the Congress party prior to elections in India’s religion-sensitive Karnataka state, where next month’s polls are expected to have national repercussions. Siddaramaiah and Karnataka is the last bastion of Congress, and the party seems to be doing everything in its power to retain it.
The leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Tuesday that the results of the Karnataka Assembly elections will be an indicator of the outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“Hence, the BJP shouldn’t be allowed to come to power in the state at any cost. Muslims should en masse cast their votes in favour of Congress candidates” he said. Azad was speaking while canvassing for Gulbarga Dakshin constituency Congress candidate Allama Prabhu Patil here on Tuesday.
“If you criticise Hindus, the BJP will come to power. Instead of criticising Hindus, cast your vote in favour of Congress candidates,” Azad said.
Criticising the Union government for interfering in the triple talaq issue, the Congress leader said that BJP-led government at Centre is misleading Muslim women on triple talaq Bill.
Cautioning people against getting carried away by the false promises of BJP leaders and appealed to the people to defeat what he called a ‘communal party’ through electoral participation and by voting the Congress to power again.
Muslims, who form 13 percent of 60 million people in the Hindu-majority state, can tilt the electoral balance if they vote en masse, particularly in certain pockets where they are as high as 20 percent. This might be the reason why Congress is all out to make such gibberish remarks while campaigning for their party.
The Congress party seems to have scant regard for the laws of the land. The Supreme Court, as well as the Election Commission, had instructed political parties to desist from seeking votes in the name of religion.