Bengaluru: Droughts have caused deaths. Thundershowers have caused deaths. And despite both being equally tragic, political leaders like Yogi Adityanath and Siddaramaiah continue to trade verbal jabs elaborating how the other has failed to provide relief to the victims.
Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath on Monday addressed a political rally in Karnataka's Belagavi and questioned what Karnataka CM had done for farmers committing suicide in the state. "Did Siddaramaiah ever pay a visit to families of farmers who committed suicide in Karnataka?" he asked. His remark was a comeback against Siddaramaiah's previous jibe questioning why Adityanath was in Karnataka when many had died after a thundershower in UP. Adityanath, who flew back a day after the remark, though said that immediate relief had been provided. "Recently there was a thunderstorm in UP that affected many people. Our government provided relief within 24 hours."
The duel between Adityanath and Siddaramaiah has been on for several months now. While BJP propped up the UP CM as a prominent face of its campaigning in Karnataka, the Karnataka CM has taken several pot shots at him - only to be called a liar in return, among other counter accusations.
The spat is only one aspect of a very heated political battle for Karnataka.
The two parties and its leaders have traded barbs which have become more stinging because of what is at stake in the near future. Congress does not want to lose Karnataka - one of very few states it still has any sway in. The BJP, on the other hand, wants to build momentum ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections and a win in Karnataka could also give the party a footing in south India.