President of Indian National Congress Rahul Gandhi interacted with the citizens of Bengaluru at the launch of the Samruddha Bharat Foundation on Tuesday. He will also be holding discussions at Chikkaballapur and Tumkur. These meet-ups are part of Rahul Gandhi's 9th phase of Jana Aashirwada Yatre. Sonia Gandhi, former Congress president, and UPA chairperson will be addressing a mega rally in Vijayapura.

Rahul Gandhi was at Kolar on Monday to fight the rising fuel prices. Riding a bicycle, he led a protest march, demanding the central government to provide relief to the Indian citizens. He pointed out that the ruling BJP had collected hundreds of crores in taxes for the fuel, and yet the people of India hasn’t seen any decrease in fuel prices, he said.

With respect to fuel prices, many citizens posed questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2012, during his election campaign, Modi had blamed the Congress for the rise in fuel prices. “However, as a Prime Minister, Modi has been looting the Indian people through an unjust hike in fuel rates,” said a Congress supporter on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Monday sent a legal notice for criminal and civil defamation to the BJP, Prime Minister Modi, BJP party chief Amit Shah, and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, over BJP’s corruption charges against him.

He said that Prime Minister is abusing his powers by deliberately causing chaos in Karnataka through his speeches on non-issues. “All hot air and absolutely no substance. My contest is not with Modi.

It is with Yeddyurappa,” he said.

The chief minister also said that he is ready for an open debate with his BJP rival BS Yeddyurappa. “I will speak extempore. They can bring paper. Let people see who they are voting for beyond the smokescreen created by hot air from Modi-Shah-Yogi team,” he said, lambasting the BJP government.

He also accused the BJP of disseminating fake news. Posting a screenshot of a fake report, he said that BJP is misusing the BBC logo and creating fake survey reports in their favor to win votes. This shows BJP’s desperation, he said, adding that “when real victory is eluding them, fake news is being used to enthuse supporters.”

The BBC is also responded with the following statement: “This fake survey on Karnataka polls has been circulating on WhatsApp and claims to be from BBC News. We'd like to make it absolutely clear that it is fake and does not come from the BBC. The BBC does not commission pre-election surveys in India,” the media house said.

Siddaramaiah pointed out that election is supposed to be an open season for false allegations.

“But why should it be? Why should anybody get away with lies, election or no election?” he asked. The chief minister has filed a Rs 100-crore defamation case against the BJP.

Siddaramaiah added that any amount of campaigning with loud but empty speeches will not change the fact that this is a Karnataka Election with local regional issues.

With almost an equal amount of support for both Congress and the BJP in Karnataka, it remains to be seen who would the 2018 election.

Indira Canteen

Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai lauded the Congress government for setting up the Indira canteen. He said that other states should follow in Karnataka’s footsteps “At the Indira canteen in Bengaluru: rice sambhar, pickle, and raita.. lunch and dinner for Rs 10, breakfast for Rs 5. Forget party politics, every Indian state must provide clean, cheap hygienic food for the poor,” he said.

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