As the Karnataka Assembly election 2018 gets closer, the social media battle between the BJP and the Congress is getting nastier by the day. The Congress had on Friday taken a shot at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, referring to him with is birth name. The BJP responded in kind on Tuesday morning by dragging former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia is set to begin her campaign in Karnataka with a rally in Bijapur. This is the first time in about two years that the former Congress chief is hitting the campaign trail. The last time she campaigned was in Varanasi, in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2016. She had fallen ill in the middle of a roadshow, and had been rushed for medical attention.
The Karnataka unit of the BJP took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to pay the Congress back in kind for a stinging tweet from Friday. “Today, Ms. Antonio Maino is here in K’taka to save her last citadel from falling! Madam Maino, K’taka needs no lessons from the person who was solely responsible for wasting India’s 10 precious years. And to Congress, need to remind you of your ‘import’ jibe?” read the tweet from the BJP’s Karnataka unit.
The tweet referring to Sonia Gandhi using her purported birth name of Antonia Maino (with which the BJP seems to have made a typo), which she gave up after marrying Rajiv Gandhi, came in response to an equally cringeworthy tweet from the Congress, which had referred to Adityanath as ‘Ajay Bisht’, which was his name before he renounced it to become a monk.
“We are glad that Mr Ajay Bisht was able to take some lessons of good governance from CM @siddaramaiah and is headed back to be with the people of Uttar Pradesh in their time of need,” read the Congress tweet, which came after he cut short his campaign in Karnataka to return to his CM duties.
The run-up to the polls has been vicious, especially on social media. Both major parties have devoted significant energy to the online battles, considering the age demographics and high level of connectivity in the state.
Karnataka goes to the polls on May 12, and the counting of votes will take place on May 15. The BJP is angling to take power in the state for the second time, while the Congress will be trying to hold on to power.