Amit Shah calls Siddaramaiah govt ‘most corrupt’, wants minister sacked after I-T raids

The BJP president said the timing of the raids was not important. The issue is that Congress has not demanded DK Shivakumar’s resignation.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2017 19:26 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Amit Shah,Karnataka,minister
BJP president Amit Shah addresses a press conference in Bengaluru on Monday. Party’s Karnataka unit president and former state chief minister B S Yeddyurappa looks on.(Arijit Sen/HT)

Terming the Siddarmaiah government in Karnataka “the most corrupt” that he had seen, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday asked why state energy minister DK Shivakumar had not been sacked following income tax raids on his properties for alleged graft.

“No action has been taken against the minister, and instead, Congress behaves like this is a badge of honour,” Shah, who was on a three-day visit to the state, said at a press conference.

When asked about the timing of the raids, as it was conducted when Shivakumar was entrusted by the Congress leadership to play host to 42 Gujarat MLAs to ensure the victory of Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha elections, Shah said: “Raids against Congress leaders in the state have been happening for a while.”

“If this was an isolated incident, it would have been an issue. It is not important when the raids happened or why they happened. The issue is that the Congress has not demanded his resignation,” Shah stressed.

On the stay of the Gujarat MLAs, he asked whether it was right for “the Congress to hold its legislators hostage here when Gujarat was facing severe floods?”

Shah said the Congress government was only interested in appeasing certain elements, and had not acted on the murders of activists associated with his party.

“Why have cases against the Social Democratic Party of India been taken back?” he asked.

Shah said 30 activists associated with RSS and related organisations had been killed during the tenure of the Congress. “The Siddaramaiah government in only interested in pandering to vote banks,” Shah said.

The BJP president also accused the Congress of hypocrisy. “Siddaramaiah keeps talking about the welfare of the backward classes. Let him explain why the Congress did not allow the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, which aims to constitute a National Commission for Backward Classes, to be passed in Rajya Sabha,” he said.

Shah also challenged Siddaramaiah’s frequent claims that the Centre had not been disbursing adequate amount of funds to the state, which has been facing three consecutive years of drought.

“Siddaramaiah has been spreading false news that the central government is not disbursing money. But after the fourteenth finance commission’s report, all states have been given an increased share,” Shah said.

Shah said under the 13th finance commission, Karnataka’s share was Rs 61,691 crore, whereas through the 14th finance commission the share of the state was increased to 1,86,925 crore. “Grants were increased from Rs 11,518 crore. We increased this to Rs 16,291 crore,” he said.

“Under the 13th finance commission Karnataka’s total share was Rs 88,583 crore, which has now been increased to Rs 2,19,506 crore. I want to ask Siddaramaiah where is this money going. It isn’t reaching the farmers, poor, tribals or resulting in development,” he alleged.

The BJP MP also said that apart from the state’s share of the central funds, Rs 79,036 crore had been disbursed to the state. “We all know where this money has gone. When raids are conducted, we get an account of this money,” he said.

On the issue of a Karnataka state flag, Shah said the agenda would have been believable if it had been raised when the government was formed.

“Who will believe them if they announce these things months before the Assembly elections? Why is the Congress party’s central leadership silent on this?” he asked.

First Published: Aug 14, 2017 19:08 IST