To woo Muslims, Rahul invokes Tipu, links JD(S) to Sangh Parivar in Vokkaliga heartland

To woo Muslims, Rahul invokes Tipu, links JD(S) to Sangh Parivar in Vokkaliga heartland

The ruling Congress is looking to consolidate Muslim votes, which was evident with AICC president Rahul Gandhi hailing erstwhile Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan and firing salvos at the JD(S) and questioning its secular credentials.

To woo minority votes, Rahul dubbed the Janata Dal (Secular) as "Janata Dal (Sangh Parivar)," accusing it of supporting the "communal" BJP and working as the saffron party's B team ahead of the Assembly polls. The "Janata Dal (Sangh Parivar)" jibe came when Rahul toured the old Mysuru region on March 24-25, where the JD(S) commands significant hold.  

Attacking the secular credentials of the JD(S) is seen as a way to prevent Muslim votes from going to the regional party, a split in the minority vote base that ended up benefiting the BJP.    

The Siddaramaiah government's decision to celebrate the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan, a controversial historical figure, has come in handy. The Tipu Sultan Jayanti has been celebrated since 2014 amid protests. On both days of his recent Janaarshirvada Yatra, Rahul hailed Tipu Sultan for having "brought glory to India."  

The scathing attack on the JD(S) was timed for the induction of the 7 former JD(S) MLAs at a rally in Mysuru. The seven were inducted just days after the high-drama Rajya Sabha polls in which the JD(S) nominee B M Farookh was defeated. The induction of the former MLAs was a clear message from the Congress that the JD(S) is no longer politically relevant.  

Even Chief Minister Siddaramaiah made a scathing attack on the JD(S), helmed by his former mentor H D Deve Gowda. "Both Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy know that the JD(S) will not win more than 25 seats in the upcoming election," Siddaramaiah quipped at a rally in Mysuru on Sunday.

The Congress openly dissing the JD(S) could work in the BJP's advantage. The possibility of the BJP making moves to strike a post-poll alliance with the JD(S) is stronger. In fact, H D Kumaraswamy had recently warned Siddaramaiah that if he were to just "stand beside the BJP and cough, the Congress will be wiped out of Karnataka politics."

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily