Editorial : Karnataka elections: homestretch before Lok Sabha 2019

Karnataka was supposed to be the Bharatiya Janata Party’s point of entry into southern India. But after its historic victory in the 2008 Assembly election, the party lost its way in the State, and the Congress staged a comeback five years later. Now, far from expanding(विस्तारशील) to the neighbouring(पड़ोसी/नज़दीक) States, the party is struggling to return to power in Karnataka in the face of a determined(निर्धारित/दृढ़-संकल्प) defensive(रक्षात्मक) battle(लड़ाई) by the politically savvy Congress Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah. A relatively new entrant to the Congress, he has created his own space in the faction-ridden party and in the wider public sphere(क्षेत्र/स्थिति) by traversing caste divides and resisting communal polarisation(ध्रुवीकरण). Thus, the single-phase election on May 12 could witness a face-off between the BJP and the Congress, with the Janata Dal
(Secular) a distant third. The BJP’s challenge is mounted(घुड़सवार /जोड़ा हुआ) by the old warhorse(जंगी घोड़ा) B.S. Yeddyurappa, its most valuable asset and arguably(यकीनन) also its greatest liability(दायित्व/आर्थिक जिम्मेदारी). If he won it for the BJP in 2008, he also ensured a defeat in 2013. After he resigned as Chief Minister following allegations of involvement in illegal mining and land deals, Mr. Yeddyurappa tried to run the government through handpicked men. When there was resistance(विरोध/बाधा) to his meddling from the outside, he formed his own party, the Karnataka Janata Paksha, to down the BJP in 2013, but returned in time to help the BJP perform creditably in the 2014 election. In the absence(गैरहाजिरी) of other evidence, it must have seemed to the BJP’s national leadership that it could win only with the active assistance of Mr. Yeddyurappa.
Mr. Siddaramaiah has used divisive(विभाजनकारी/बांटनेवाला) tactics(कार्यनीति/युक्ति) of his own. His government aided demands for religious minority status for Lingayats, a Shaivite section from which Mr. Yeddyurappa, and by extension(विस्तार) the BJP, draw substantial support. And he indulged regional sentiments by unveiling(अनावरण) a Karnataka State flag. Both decisions are awaiting the approval of the Centre, but the Congress believes that irrespective(निरपेक्ष/पृथक)of what the BJP-led government at the Centre does, the dividends(लाभांश/भाग) are for it to reap.Agitations(आंदोलन/खलबली) against the use of Hindi in Metro stations are also being turned to the disadvantage of the BJP, which is trying to refurbish(नवीनीकरण) its image as a Hindu-Hindi party by stressing(प्रभाव डालना/ज़ोर देना) solely(केवल/अकेले) on the Hindu aspect. Karnataka will not be the last State to go to the polls before the Lok Sabha election of 2019, but it holds great importance for the campaigns of the Congress and the BJP in the run-up to 2019. A loss for either will be a dampener(हतोत्साहित), and a win a great morale(मनोबल/नैतिक शक्ति) booster. Leaders of both parties need to convince themselves, more than anyone else, that they have their nose ahead as they near the homestretch(ख़ातमा/अंत).


Important Vocabulary
1.Sphere(क्षेत्र/स्थिति
Synonyms: circle, orb, planet, apple, ball
2.Mounted(घुड़सवार /जोड़ा हुआ)
Synonyms: seated, horsed, riding, in the saddle
Antonyms: afoot, dismounted, unhorsed
3.Warhorse(जंगी घोड़ा)
Synonyms: old-timer, expert, long timer, old guard, old school
Antonyms: amateur, greenhorn, rookie
4.Resistance(विरोध/बाधा)
Synonyms: battle, defiance, fight, intransigence, protection
Antonyms: aid, assistance, help, liberation, peace
5.Tactics(कार्यनीति/युक्ति
Synonyms: approach, campaign, channels, course, defense
6.Refurbish(नवीनीकरण)
Synonyms: fix up, modernize, overhaul, recondition, redo
Antonyms: antique, break, damage, destroy, hurt
7.Solely(केवल/अकेले
Synonyms: completely, entirely, exclusively, individually, merely
Antonyms: incompletely, indefinitely, partially, shared, together
8.Morale(मनोबल/नैतिक शक्ति)
Synonyms: attitude, mood, resolve, self-confidence, spirit
Antonyms: fear, weakness
9.Dampener(हतोत्साहित)
Synonyms: complainer, grouch, moaner, pessimist, whiner
10.Irrespective(निरपेक्ष/पृथक)
Synonyms: heedless, inattentive, regardless, careless, discounting
Antonyms: careful, respectful, thoughtful, attentive, cautious

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