By S Gopinath Reddy

Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Rahul Gandhi… three big names in the Indian politics have been fighting it out in “battle Karnataka” with all their wits and capping the high voltage political campaign in the recent past, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is joining the list today. The Congress party supremo is scheduled to campaign in Vijayapura later this evening.

Incidentally, this is the first time in two years that Sonia Gandhi will be addressing an election meeting. She had been staying away from such election meetings owing to her health issues.

With hardly two days left for campaigning for the Karnataka Assembly elections which are slated for May 12, the BJP and the Congress upped the ante and are leaving no stone unturned. The Prime Minister has already addressed a series of meetings in the election-bound state while Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi have toured all the districts and are busy touring for the second time.

Amit Shah, in interviews to several media houses, exuded confidence that the BJP will form the government in Karnataka on its own and that the party does not require the support of JD (S). The BJP camp intensified its scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi alleging that he is involved in Rs 5000 crore scam while the Karnataka High Court has cleared its chief ministerial candidate Yedyurappa of all the charges leveled against him.
On the other hand, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah filed a defamation case against Narendra Modi and Amit Shah for “making baseless corruption charges against him”.

The political war has found resonance on social media with messages, surveys, fake news, charges and counter charges flooding the users. It has become difficult to identify the genuineness of the news that is being circulated on social media networks. An international news organization has to come out with a statement clarifying that it did not conduct any pre-poll survey as was being circulated on the social media.
Meanwhile, probably for the first time in the history of Karnataka elections, Telugu voters appear to be a divided house. With Andhra Pradesh politics and increasingly bitter rivalry between the BJP and the TDP, numerous Telugu Associations based out of Karnataka developed fissures much to the embarrassment of lakhs of Telugus who made Karnataka their home away from home and blended into the Kannada culture seamlessly.

The next 48 hours would be crucial for the BJP and the Congress while JD (S) slowly appears to be relegated to the third position.