A day after its MLAs sat through the Karnataka Budget 2023 presentation with flowers tucked behind their ears as a mark of protest, the Congress has stepped up its ‘KiviMeleHoova’ campaign. The latest campaign by the Congress in poll-bound Karnataka accuses the BJP government to fooling the people.
By the morning of Saturday, 18 February, posters of the campaign — ‘Kivi Mele Hoova’, which translates to ‘flower on one’s ears’, a reference to a Kannada idiom to describe fraud — was found plastered across walls in several districts.
Campaign led by Youth Congress
The Congress’ campaign posters accusing BJP of fooling people was consciously pasted over BJP’s campaign posters with pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other saffron party leaders.
The Congress’ youth wing members led the campaign and posters were were seen in Bengaluru and Mangaluru cities.
In Assembly constituencies like Bengaluru’s Bytarayanapura, Congress MLA Krishna Byregowda led the campaign to put up more posters.
Congress workers, on Saturday, were seen gathering in front of these posters and raising slogans against the ruling BJP over their unfulfilled promises to the people.
The Congress party, during the budget session on Friday, had attacked the incumbent BJP government for failing to fulfil nearly 90 percent of its 2018 poll promises and also for utilising only 56 percent of the allocated budget of 2022-2023 so far.
More than 130 announcements made in the previous budget by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (2022-2023) are yet to take off, the Congress said. It also alleged that Friday’s budget — although interim, given that elections are due in Karnataka — was an attempt by the BJP to “fool people”.
CLP leader Siddaramaiah, KPCC President DK Shivakumar and other party MLAs had flowers tucked behind their ears to highlight the campaign and its allegation that the BJP government was fooling the people of Karnataka.
An agitated Chief Minister Bommai reacted to the Congress leaders’ behaviour inside the Assembly by describing it as an irresponsible and a foolish act.
“I have never seen such an irresponsible and foolish Opposition,” Bommai told reporters.
Soon after senior Congress leaders sat in the Assembly with flowers — carefully chosen saffron-coloured marigolds to depict the saffron party — Youth Congress members began working on campaigns hashtags of #KivimeleHoova and made several memes with a song that were posted on social media.
Previously, Congress’ PayCM QR Code poster campaign launched by the Congress had grabbed eyeballs in the state. The PayCM campaign was based on Congress’ allegation of corruption against the BJP government.
Stung by the innovative “PayCM” anti-corruption campaign, the state BJP government pressed into action two agencies to crack down on those who put up the QR Code posters.
Terming it as a “conspiracy to defame the CM”, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the city police’s Crime Branch set out to hunt down the “culprits” and even arrested two daily wage labourers who had been hired to put up the posters.
“Who will they hunt for now?” asked a youth Congress member who told South First that this time the party made sure that only party workers put up the posters of ‘Kivi mele hoova’, on BJP posters.