The Congress party launched its Prajadhwani Yatra (voice of the people) in Karnataka from Belgavi, which lies at the heart of the state’s border dispute with Maharashtra.
The bus yatra comes three months ahead of the assembly elections in Karnataka, which is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party. During the yatra, senior Karnataka Congress leaders will interact with the people and take their suggestions into consideration for the party’s election manifesto.
“Our manifesto for the assembly elections will be based on the people’s opinions. We have launched phone numbers also – people can call and tell us what they expect from the Congress party, if it is voted to power,” senior Congress leader Priyank Kharge told Moneycontrol.
The Congress leadership also plans to take on the incumbent government by highlighting alleged scams and corruption.
“Corruption is rampant in Karnataka. The government has been involved in various scams, ranging from recruitment to allotment of developmental works to contractors. We want to make people aware about the failures of the chief minister Basavaraj Bommai-led government,” Kharge said.
The bus yatra has been planned for 18 days in the state and will cover 20 of the 31 districts in the state including Belgavi, Vijaynagar, Koppal, Bagalkot, Gadag, Haveri, Davanagere, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Udupi, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Bangalore Rural, Chamarajanagar, Mysuru, Mandya, Ramanagar, Yadgir, and Bidar.
In September, the party stepped up its attacks on the BJP by putting up posters at various locations in Bengaluru with Bommai’s face and a QR code captioned “PayCM,” a play on the name of digital payment company Paytm.
The Congress leaders will also announce various proposed schemes related to pension and employment in the state.
After completion of the bus yatra on January 28, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee leaders will split into two groups led by former chief minister Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar to campaign for the upcoming assembly elections.
The Shivakumar-led group will campaign in south Karnataka while Siddaramaiah’s group will cover north Karnataka.The Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute dates back to 1956, when states were reorganised along linguistic lines. Belgavi was originally a part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency. Both Karnataka and Maharashtra are ruled by the BJP.