The Bengaluru flood crisis has given an opportunity to Karnataka’s political leaders to score brownie points ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections in the state.
The ruling BJP as well as the Opposition Congress leaders are going on boat rides, campaigning against each other.
Sensing the public mood turning against the BJP government, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai attempted to pass the buck to the Congress, holding it squarely responsible for the crisis.
Opposition leader Siddaramaiah and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra paid a visit to flood-hit areas of the city on Thursday. They took to boats to reach destinations in the flood-hit areas.
Jnanendra said that at times of a crisis, politics should not be done.
“Siddaramaiah should advise the government. He ruled the state for four years. These inundated buildings are not built in last four years,” the Home Minister added.
“This crisis situation and heavy rainfall has opened our eyes. We will work towards finding a permanent solution,” he said.
“The heavy rains have put people in crisis. The SDRF and fire department personnel are working round the clock. Rescue operations are being carried out at 70 locations. Through boats, 1,011 persons have been rescued in a single day,” he added.
Siddaramaiah after visiting the flood-affected areas hit back at the BJP government, saying that during his tenure action was taken to remove 1,300 among 1,953 encroachments.
If the ruling BJP would have removed the remaining 600 encroachments, this situation would not have arisen, he added.
“Chief Minister Bommai says that previous government (headed by Siddaramaiah) is responsible for the crisis. Do we have to tell what they have done? It is easy to escape from responsibility. They (BJP) have opposed removal of encroachments,” he added.
Sources in the BJP said that the present crisis would prove to be a challenge for the ruling party in the elections to the BBMP as well as the state Assembly.
According to Congress sources, its leaders are upbeat about the backlash that the BJP is receiving from the people.
The flood-affected areas are represented by BJP MLAs and it is definitely going to spoil their chances, they said.