Riots will hit Karnataka if Congress returns to power, says Amit Shah
Addressing a public meeting at Terdal in Belagavi district, the Union minister further targeted the Congress, saying the development of Karnataka would hit the “reverse gear” if the grand old party won the upcoming elections.
Bengaluru: If the Congress comes to power in Karnataka, dynastic politics will be at an all-time high in the southern state and it will be “afflicted with riots”, Union home minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday as the campaigning for the May 10 assembly elections gained steam.
Addressing a public meeting at Terdal in Belagavi district, the Union minister further targeted the Congress, saying the development of Karnataka would hit the “reverse gear” if the grand old party won the upcoming elections. Seeking people’s mandate for “political stability” in the state, Shah asserted that only the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can lead it towards a “new Karnataka”.
“If Congress comes to power by mistake, then corruption will be at all-time high and there will be ‘appeasement’,” said Shah, who is on a two-day tour of Karnataka to hold a series of public meetings, road shows and review meetings with BJP leaders.
Polling for the 224-member Karnataka legislative assembly will be held on May 10 and the results will be announced on May 13.
The home minister said that the ensuing assembly elections are not just about choosing legislators, but also handing over the future of Karnataka to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This assembly election is not just to choose an MLA but to hand over the future of Karnataka into the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is an election to make Karnataka a developed state and also to bring political stability,” he added.
Addressing a public rally in Bagalkote, Shah said the defection of two Lingayat leaders —Jagadish Shettar and Laxman Savadi — from the BJP to the Congress will not benefit the opposition party in anyway.
“Congress has always insulted the Lingayat community because in its long rule in the state it could give only two Lingayat chief ministers — S Nijalingappa and Veerendra Patil —both of whom were humiliated and sacked from the party,” the senior BJP leader said, adding that seeking votes in the name of leaders who came from the BJP showed how bankrupt the Congress was.
The Congress aligned with the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) to unseat former chief minister BS Yediyurappa. “After unseating Yediyurappa using the JD(S), you want to move forward with the help of some of our leaders. But the people of Karnataka, especially those from ‘Kittur Karnataka’ region in the northern part of the state, will not tolerate it,” Shah said.
The former BJP national president also defended the state government’s decision of scrapping 4% quota for Muslims, saying the party never believed in “religion-based reservation”. He also took a dig at the Congress for its stand that the quota would be restored if it is voted to power in the state.
“Whose reservation will be decreased if 4% reservation for Muslims is restored? Will it be Vokkaligas or Lingayats, Dalits, Scheduled Tribes or the Other Backward Castes?” Shah asked.
Hitting out at the BJP, Congress leader and party in-charge of Karnataka, Randeep Singh Surjewala, said the ruling party was insulting the state every day. “JP Naddaji says Kannadigas need blessings of Modi -- not vice versa. Can they not find a single #Kannadiga to hand over the State of # Karnataka to run the State that it has to be handed over to Modi?” Surjewala tweeted. “One thing is certain, #40PercentSarkara will be decimated and thrown out,” he added.
The campaigning for the May 10 elections has gained momentum, with a 98-member group of central BJP leaders, including Shah, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan as well as party president JP Nadda, visiting all 224 assembly constituencies on Tuesday and Wednesday.
(With inputs from agencies)