Karnataka election 2018: SP-BSP bonhomie put to test as Akhilesh and Mayawati take on each other

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New Delhi | April 27, 2018 5:38 PM

Star campaigners are no new phenomenon in the scheme of elections. Prominent parties ensure that their popular leaders are best used in elections across states in India.

Star campaigners are no new phenomenon in the scheme of elections.

Star campaigners are no new phenomenon in the scheme of elections. Prominent parties ensure that their popular leaders are best used in elections across states in India. However, things are bound to stand out when top leaders from one state battle it out in the other. The case in point here is Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 and at the centre of the bitter campaign is Uttar Pradesh.

The influence of Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming Karnataka assembly poll has special significance in Karnataka elections. As unassuming as it may seem, the top political leaders and three Chief Ministers (one incumbent and two former) of the state will swoop down on the campaign trail in the southern state. The leaders include Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati. The trio will hold several rallies across the state.

After the defeat in the recently held Gorakhpur and Phoolpur bypolls, Adityanath continues his position as being the party’s star campaigner. He is expected to hold 35 political campaign and road shows across the state. The rallies of Aditynath has been scheduled on May 3, 4, 7 to 10. The UP Chief Minister is likely to stress on the Lingayat issue which panders to the largest community in the state. Adityanath is also likely to visit the coastal areas of the state to woo the ‘Nath’ community to which he belongs.

Apart from these, Adityanath will also visit the temples and mutts as the saffron party is looking to play the Hindutva card. The saffron party believes Yogi Adityanath as one of the best to counter CM Siddaramaiah’s Lingayat push. During his earlier visit to the state in February, Adityanath had taken on the Karnataka CM resulting in a bitter Twitter war.

However, the most intersting aspect this election will be the other two prominent parties in UP politics, viz., the SP and BSP. The two parties, which are friendly in their home state and also shared seats in the recently held bypoll, are set to launch a fierce attack against each other. The Samajwadi Party has entered a pact with Congress to field its candidate. The party has fielded over two dozen candidates in the election. According to news agency PTI, former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will only campaign for Samajwadi Party in the poll-bound state.

Bahujan Samaj Party, on the other hand, has entered into a seat-sharing pact with Janata Dal(Secular). The party has fielded its candidates from 20 seats. Addressing a rally in Mysuru on Wednesday, party supremo Mayawati attacked both the national parties (BJP and Congress) and said that both are same and they never think of the Dalit and backward classes. Her ally partner leader H. D. Kumaraswamy said that BSP is the only secular party in the country.

Both the SP and BSP are looking to open an account in the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nirmala Sithraman, Smriti Irani etc are also the party’s star campaigners in the state. The party is trying to regain the power which it lost one decade back.

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