The bitter political battle ahead of two bypolls in Karnataka reached a new low on Monday as the Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “thumb-splash” or illiterate.

“The Congress built schools but Modi never went to study. Congress made learning plans for adults too, Modi didn’t learn there either. Those who chose to beg, even though begging is banned, are inspiring citizens to beg today. The country is suffering because of “#angoothachhaap modi”, the Karnataka Congress tweeted in Kannada.

Congress has built schools, although Narendra Modi has not studied, nor has he read the adult education scheme,

Ban on begging but lazy life The craze for begging has made the country bikers today. The country is suffering from #HebbettuGirakimodi.

— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) October 18, 2021

The remark was described by many as a personal attack on the Prime Minister.

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BJP’s Karnataka spokesperson, Malvika Avinash, said, “Only the Congress can stoop so low” and added that the comment was not even worth responding to.

State Congress spokesperson Lavanya Ballal acknowledged that the tone of the tweet was “unfortunate” and said an inquiry would take place. But he said he saw no reason to withdraw it or apologize for it.

Bypolls to Sindgi and Hangal assembly constituencies will be held on October 30. These seats fell vacant after the death of a Janata Dal Secular MLA and a BJP MLA.

A lot is at stake for the ruling BJP as this is the first vote after Basavaraj Bommai to replace BS Yediyurappa as the chief minister. Hangal is right next to Shiggaon, the new chief minister’s constituency. The Congress expects both the seats to get a boost before the state elections to be held in 2023.

However, the opposition party was not looking good recently when two of its leaders were caught on a hot mic, gossiping about their boss DK Shivakumar and even accusing him of taking bribes.

This was followed by acrimonious Twitter exchanges between Mr Bommai and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, a former chief minister. The back-and-forth began on Mr Bommai’s remarks that moral policing was “action and response” that led to hurt feelings.

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