Karnataka: Congress's 'PayCM' jibe at Basavaraj Bommai; BJP hits back
The Congress has most likely begun its unique election campaign in Karnataka ahead of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's visit to Banavasi in Uttara Kannada district. Posters with the words "PayCM" resurfaced around town as a jibe against the state government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for alleged corrupt practices. The BJP reacted sharply to the posters, branding the Congress a fraud party.
Why does this story matter?
- Notably, the Congress's "PayCM" posters, which were launched last year, accuse the Bommai-led BJP government of charging 40% commission on public works.
- The Congress also recently posted Kivi Mele Hoova (flower on the ear) on BJP posters in Bengaluru and Dakshina Kannada districts.
- "Flower on the ear" refers to someone being duped, alluding to BJP's failure to fulfill promises made in its 2018 manifesto.
Congress posters accuse BJP of corruption
"PayCM" posters with QR codes are being displayed around Banavasi town to allegedly criticize the BJP-led Karnataka government for alleged corruption. When the QR code was scanned, it led to a website called "40 percent Sarkara," which allegedly showed the alleged fraudulent practice of charging a 40% commission on public works.
Youth Congress leader arrested over similar posters in Tumakuru
Meanwhile, Tumakuru Youth Congress President Shashi Hulikunte was arrested by Karnataka Police after the posters surfaced in Tumakuru, Karnataka, ahead of the state elections, per India Today. Reportedly, "PayMLA" posters depicting BJP MLA GB Jyothiganesh's face and a QR code also surfaced in Tumakuru on Saturday. The poster with the BJP MLA's face read, "If you want to get any work done, pay me."
'Evil design': BJP over the Congress's campaign
According to reports, Bommai described the campaign as an "evil design" aimed at slandering the BJP administration. He further claimed that it is a systematic attempt by Congress to ruin his and the state's name. On the accusations of corruption, he called them a plot to discredit his government, and directed police to arrest everyone involved.
BJP uses '16-arm caricature', accusing Siddaramaiah of fraud
Separately, the BJP has also released a booklet with its own poster collection against the "PayCM" campaign. A 16-armed illustration is shown in the document, depicting an alleged fraud committed between 2013 and 2018 by Congress leader Siddaramaiah and his party. In addition, the BJP distributed posters showing "fake Gandhis" intended against former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her family.
Visuals of 'PayCM' campaign launch in 2022
Know about the campaigns
The "PayCM" posters resemble the appearance of the electronic wallet, Paytm, with Bommai's face in the middle of the QR code with the statement "40% accepted here." The image allegedly refers to the BJP government's 40% commission charges. Similarly, Kivi mele hoovu, which means "flower on the ear" in Kannada, is used to chastise the BJP for allegedly trying to take advantage of people.