Congress spokesperson Rajeev Gowda told NDTV, "Right now, we are seeing BJP unleash the Hindutva strategy and already the impact on the harmony in the state is being felt. The coast is aflame and people are dying. They are aghast to see BJP turning to Hindutva, polarisation, and division in their desperate quest to recapture Karnataka."
He added that the BJP is trying to distract people from the performance of Siddaramaiah government. But the ethos of Karnataka are being damaged in the process, he said and added, "We are peaceful people. We don't need Yogi Adityanath to show up in Karnataka and try to spread hatred here."
The BJP has trashed the Congress's allegations and they are going to focus on "development" in the upcoming elections. Dr Vijay Sonkar Shastri, BJP spokesperson, said, "In Karnataka, the Congress itself is trying to bring Hindutva into the election campaign. For the BJP, the most important issue is development."
There have been several breakouts of communal violence in coastal Karnataka. BJP leaders, including party chief Amit Shah have said that the state government was anti-Hindu. Political commentators believe that it may well be part of their strategy in Karnataka.
Mohandas Pai, leading entrepreneur formerly with Infosys and now Chairperson, Manipal Global Education Services, told NDTV, "In this election, all political parties will play anything. They will play Hindutva, they will play communal, they will play religion and the Congress has sadly blotted its copy book. They celebrated Tipu Jayanti. Tipu was a killer, he was a bigot who killed Konkani people, the community to which I belong. So there is anger among people especially the Hindu community about marking Tipu Jayanti so blatantly."
He added, "I think this is the perfect ground for the BJP to come, Yogi to come and play the Hindutva card because in the election, everyone wants power. You are going to see Congress go with the Muslims and put the skull caps and take photographs and do all of the things that they normally do during election time. You are going to see the BJP come and play the Hindutva card blatantly and try to get the Hindus to vote. So I think it is open season."