Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has been quite a star on Twitter and Facebook. He has his own dedicated 10-member team that has surprised people within the Congress, and social media teams of other political parties, with its alacrity in responding to Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (Secular) politicians. On Tuesday, Siddaramaiah's Twitter handle lost little time to put out a reply to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attack on him. The 10-member team has people proficient in Kannada and English. The Karnataka Congress has not relied on the party's central social media team led by Divya Spandana. Wives of young upcoming leaders are pitching in. Meenakshi Seshadri, wife of agriculture minister Krishna Byre Gowda, and Tabu Rao, wife of working president of the state unit of the Congress party Dinesh Gundu Rao, are key contributors to the party's social media strategy.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who will undertake the eighth leg of his campaign for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls today and tomorrow, has had a change of heart. He had rejected the initial plan that state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and he would address separate rallies across Karnataka. Gandhi had said he wanted to travel with the popular chief minister. But there was a problem every time Siddaramaiah spoke first at a public rally. The moment he ended his speech, the crowd, few among whom understand Hindi, would start dispersing. Now, Gandhi speaks first at the meetings, with his speech translated by a local Congress politician, and Siddaramaiah is the last one to address these meetings.
Bharatiya Janata Party's Dalit outreach is not going as planned. After his colleague Suresh Rana was pictured having a lavish meal — that had been sourced from a local halwai — at a Dalit home, Uttar Pradesh minister Rajendra Pratap Singh compared his party leaders to “Lord Ram” for sharing meals with Dalits. The BJP leadership had urged lawmakers to spend a night at a village and share a meal with Dalits as part of a campaign to mark the birth anniversary of Dalit icon and author of the Constitution, BR Ambedkar.