There was a time not so long ago when the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, rarely made national headlines. And when it did, it usually had something to do with the potholes of the computer capital.
And even inside Karnataka, he often appeared in newspapers and channels for unpleasant reasons, such as wearing a Hublot Rs 70 lakh diamond-laden watch or changing his car because a crow sat down or made a book about him a must-read on the government schools. That was also the time when the photographs of Siddaramaiah dozing at public events turned viral faster than forest fires, which earned him the nickname of “nidde ramaiah”: nidde in Kannada means sleeping.
But once the elections of the Karnataka Assembly began to loom on the horizon, Siddaramaiah began to acquire new nicknames. He is now the “highest leader” of Karnataka, an immutable crusader against communalism and a source of socialism of a rare kind that even Karl Marx overlooked.
These epithets were given to him by congressional admirers and the wisemen of the left only because he began to confront Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter with the hungry zeal of one beast stalking another in the wild.
The result of this carpet bombing on Twitter is the creation of the Siddaramaiah brand, meticulously nurtured by a professional team. And when the created image is one of an armageddon between the sinner and the saint, the suspense that follows can only be of a variety of the edge of the seat.
Siddaramaiah overcame his own tweet-to-tat, tweet-for-tweet aggression when he reacted to almost all the points raised by Modi at the three rallies he led in Karnataka on Tuesday: