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Why Karnataka will see a negative election campaign

April 05, 2013 14:50 IST

Instead of highlighting their achievements, most parties in Karnataka will be pointing fingers at the misdeeds of their opponents. Vicky Nanjappa reports

The campaigns by all political parties in Karnataka this time are likely to be smear campaigns. None would rely on achievements, but would aim at targeting the wrong doings of the other parties.

The Congress and Janata Dal-Secular have decided to target the misrule by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state and make it their primary agenda. The BJP on the other hand will target the ruling United Progressive Alliance government in New Delhi.

It has been a slow start to the campaign and each of the major political parties have delayed announcing their list of candidates. While the BJP and the JD-S will put out its first list later on Friday, the Congress list will be delayed by another week.

Each of these political parties are getting into the battle not on a very strong agenda or manifesto. The tone and tenor of each party makes it clear that they are more interested in smear campaigns.

The Congress will focus on the manner in which the BJP promoted corruption and also point to the dissidence in the party.

The BJP will target the misrule by the UPA and target the Congress on corruption in Delhi. They would also tell the people about how the Centre was non-cooperative when it came to solving the dought situation in Karnataka. More importantly the party would try and seek votes on the ground that the next government in Delhi would be that of the BJP’s and it would be beneficial for the people of the state to have a similar government.

The JD-S campaign will be a mix of both. They are focusing heavily on the Mysore-Mandya belt to get their votes. The biggest issue in this belt is the Cauvery waters issue and the JD-S has been the only party which has been vocal about this. The party will blame the Congress at the Centre for not taking up the issue in Karnataka’s favour and the BJP for remaining non-committal on the issue.

The caste factor would also play a crucial role and each of the parties is trying to get this maths right. They would also be careful in fielding candidates in a bid to beat anti-incumbency.

Vicky Nanjappa