BJP leader and Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje on May 8 filed a complaint with Election Commission and alleged that Sonia Gandhi had violated provisions of the Model Code of Conduct by her remarks on -the ‘sovereignty’ of Karnataka.
Sonia Gandhi made the controversial remarks at a public meeting in Hubballi.
Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said that her party would not allow anyone to pose a threat to Karnataka’s “reputation, sovereignty or integrity”.
The BJP also requested the Election Commission to issue directions for registering an FIR against her. Describing this statement as “shocking and unacceptable”, Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje said Sonia Gandhi had violated provisions of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
The Congress, referring to Sonia Gandhi’s speech at a campaign rally at Hubballi on May 6, said in a tweet that the Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson ‘sends a strong message to 6.5 crore Kannadigas,’ and also posted pictures of her speaking at the public meeting. The Congress tweet read: “The Congress will not allow anyone to pose a threat to Karnataka’s reputation, sovereignty or integrity.”
PM Modi, on May 7, raked up the issue in his last rally at Nanjangud in Mysuru district on May 7 by accusing the Gandhi family of calling for the secession of the State from India. This was like Congress leadership is “taking the lead in working against the interests” of the country, the Prime Minister has said.
The Congress party’s royal family, Shahi Parivar, to “influence politics” in the country, has been “openly inciting foreign powers to interfere” and “secretly meeting foreign diplomats who do not like India”, PM Modi said.
Campaigning for Assembly polls to the 224-member assembly ends on May 8 evening.
In his address, PM Modi said; – “Not only Karnataka, I want to tell this to the entire country with a lot of pain that in this election Congress’ royal family yesterday came to Karnataka and said they want to protect the sovereignty of Karnataka”.
“Karnataka’s sovereignty, you know what is the meaning of it? They have sat in Parliament for so many years, they have taken oath on India’s Constitution, and they say this. When a country becomes independent, only then that country is called a sovereign nation,” PM Modi said, adding, “The meaning of what Congress is saying is that the Congress believes that Karnataka is separate from India”.
Sonia Gandhi’s statement on ‘sovereignty’ is being considered as the second major blunder by Congress in recent times. As a result, in terms of public perception in Karnataka, perhaps the game has changed. One survey by an otherwise pro-Congress media group says an overwhelming 43 per cent of voters said the ‘Bajrang Dal ban’ episode would help the BJP and harm Congress.
Predictably, Congress has tried to do some damage control, and now leaders are saying they will also construct temples for God Hanuman. But the Congress leaders will do well to recall what veteran A K Antony had said some years ago that the grand old party is now easily identified as a pro-Muslim and an anti-Hindu party.
In the 2019 polls, Congress played soft Hindutva, and the people of India did not fall into its trap. The attempt to describe Rahul Gandhi as a Shiv Bhakt was only mocked in more ways than one. The past actions count more than what a party says as a mere ‘damage control’ exercise.
Senior BJP leader Eshwarappa called the Congress manifesto a “manifesto of Muslim League,” referring to the political legacy of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.