Bengaluru: As senior Congress leaders and aspirants of the chief ministerial post ahead of Assembly election in Karnataka – KPCC chief DK Shivakumar and opposition leader Siddaramaiah – are involved in a pitched battle for supremacy, Rahul Gandhi on Monday stepped in with a unity mantra.
Addressing a rally at Belagavi in northern Karnataka, he called on party leaders in the state to fight the BJP with unity. Only this mantra can help the Congress sweep the seats in the Karnataka Assembly poll with an absolute majority, he said. Apart from the unity mantra, he announced unemployment allowance for the youth – the fourth in a series of poll promises.
Three poll guarantees
Earlier, the Congress had announced three poll guarantees — 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), and 10kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya). Rahul also hit out at the BJP-led Centre, saying, “This country belongs to everyone, does not belong to two to three selected people; it is not Adani's. This country belongs to farmers, laborers, the poor, and youth.” Congress has decided to give Rs3,000 a month to every graduate, and Rs1,500 per month to every diploma holder, for two years as unemployment allowance, he said.
“We understand your (youth) problem, and the BJP is not giving you jobs." He said the Congress government will provide jobs to 10 lakh youth in 5 years, and assured that 2.5 lakh government vacancies will be filled up. Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party, which is making its debut in the Karnataka poll, released its first list of 80 candidates. It plans to field candidates in all the 224 Assembly segments in the state.
Releasing the list, party’s state chief, Prithvi Reddy, claimed the AAP is the fastest-growing political party and would give prominence to the youth, farmers, and women. “The candidates (in the list) represent various sections of society. The average age of the list of our candidates is 46. Over 50 per cent candidates are below 45. ”Interestingly, DK Shivakumar’s brother-in-law Sharat Chandra is the AAP candidate from Channapatna constituency in Ramanagara where he will take on the former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of JD(S) and CP Yogishwar of BJP.
End the issue of who killed Tipu Sultan
Amid all the political heat, a prominent Vokkaliga seer urged to put an end to the issue on who killed Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan. According to a section of the community, Vokkaliga chieftains Nanje Gowda, Vokkaliga had allegedly killed Tipu Sultan.
Some BJP leaders have also been backing the claims that the Gowdas killed Tipu. However, Nirmalanandanatha Mahaswamiji, the chief pontiff of Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math, highly regarded by the dominant Vokkaligas, has said there is no historical evidence to the claims and called for the gathering of information, edicts, and records about the duo, before arriving at any decision.
He summoned Horticulture Minister Munirathna, a producer-turned-politician who was planning to make a movie by registering a title ‘Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda’ and directed him to drop the plan. The minister paid heed to the pontiff’s direction.
A section of people in the Old Mysuru belt claims Tipu Sultan did not die fighting the British, but was killed by the two Vokkaliga chieftains. However, historians have been strongly opposing this claim saying there is no evidence on record.BJP leaders including Union Minister of State Shobha Karandlaje, CT Ravi, and Ashwath Narayan say there is historical evidence about Uri Gowda and Nanje Gowda in plays and ballads and that they fought Tipu to safeguard the family of Mysuru Maharajas and to protect the state.
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