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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

BJP gives ‘PayCM’ campaign a caste twist, Congress hits back

Attempting to give the ‘PayCM’ campaign of the Congress a caste twist, Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar has said that Opposition Congress “always targets major communities” and the ongoing campaign is “trying to dislodge a Lingayat Chief Minister”.

Hitting back, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar said they viewed Mr. Bommai as a Chief Minister and not by his religion or caste and the BJP should stop “diversionary tactics”.

‘Tarnished dignity’

Dr. Sudhakar told reporters on Saturday that the campaign stemmed from “desperation”. Alleging that the Congress was known to target “good administrators/Chief Ministers from major communities”, he said Congress leaders had “tarnished the dignity of State politics” through this campaign.

“With their own senior members out on bail after being arrested on the charge of corruption, they are now behaving as if they are Satya Harischandra,” he said, adding that he had never seen a former Chief Minister pasting posters.

‘About corruption, not caste’

Reacting to this in Bengaluru, Mr. Shivakumar said, “Our target is large-scale corruption and nothing else. Mr. Bommai is our Chief Minister. His caste or religion is immaterial and not of consequence.” He deplored the BJP’s attempt to give it a caste colour.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bommai termed the Congress campaign as “dirty politics”. The Chief Minister, who was in Chitradurga to participate in an event organised by Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath of Sirigere, a prominent Lingayat mutt in Central Karnataka, said the Congress harboured illusions of coming to power with such campaigns. “This will not happen in Karnataka as the government will take legal action against it,” he said.

When his reaction was sought to Dr. Sudhakar's statement that he was being targeted since he belonged to the Lingayat community, Mr. Bommai said he was not a party to the statement and would not comment.

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