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BJP files complaint with ECI against Shivakumar’s remarks targeting Vokkaliga sentiments

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Bengaluru: The political atmosphere in Karnataka seems charged, with the BJP filing a complaint against Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar with the Election Commission of India.

The complaint alleges that Shivakumar’s statements have targeted caste and communal sentiments, particularly within the Vokkaliga community, and may exacerbate existing divisions.

The complaint has been initiated by former Deputy Chief Minister and BJP MLA Dr CN Ashwath Narayan along with senior advocate Vivek S Reddy.

In an attempt to draw attention to what he perceived as past actions detrimental to the interests of the Vokkaliga community, Shivakumar had alleged that the BJP leaders including BS Yediyurappa and R Ashoka were involved in the downfall of then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who belongs to Vokkaliga community.

The remarks stirred controversy and prompted the BJP to complain to the Election Commission, alleging that such statements are aimed at manipulating caste and communal sentiments among voters.

The complaint asserts that Shivakumar’s criticism of political leaders, particularly those from the BJP, crosses the boundaries set by the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

It alleged that Shivakumar’s remarks constitute false allegations targeting the caste and communal sentiments of the electorate, specifically the Vokkaliga community.

The complaint claimed that Shivakumar’s allegations could have a substantial impact on ordinary voters, indicating a recognition of the influence that political rhetoric can have on public opinion, especially when it pertains to sensitive issues such as caste and communal affiliations.

In an attempt to downplay the significance of the NDA candidates’ visit to the spiritual center of the Vokkaliga community, Shivakumar stated that Adichunchanagiri Mutt pontiff would likely avoid involvement in political matters, subtly signaling that political maneuver within the religious institution is unlikely.

Karnataka JDS President HD Kumaraswamy stated that the Vokkaliga community is keeping track of Shivakumar’s statements and hinted at a future response to address any perceived slights or political maneuvers made by Shivakumar.

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