Have faith in PM Modi and Yediyurappa, we will rid Karnataka of corruption: Amit Shah
Taking a swipe at the Congress and the Janata Dal(Secular), the Union home minister accused both the parties of rampant corruption in the state
Bengaluru Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday appealed people to repose faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former chief minister BS Yediyurappa in the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections, asserting that only a Bharatiya Janata Party-led government can help rid the state of corruption.
“Trust PM Modi and Yediyurappa once, and we (the BJP) will give such a government that it will rid Karnataka of corruption and make it a number one state in South India,” Shah said at a “Vijay Sankalp Samavesh” in Karnataka’s Ballari district.
“This time, the BJP will form the government in the state with full majority. Join hands with me, to form a full majority government,” he added.
Taking a swipe at the Congress and the Janata Dal(Secular), Shah accused both the parties of rampant corruption in the state. “In the 2018 elections, we went to polls under the leadership of Yediyurappa. But we could not form a government, and Congress formed the government with JD(S). Every vote you cast for JD(S) will go to Congress. Congress and JD(S) are responsible for corruption in the state,” he said.
The BJP returned to power in the state in 2019 after the JD(S)-Congress government lost the trust vote in the assembly. Yediyurappa returned as the chief minister but was replaced by current CM Basavaraj Bommai in 2021. Karnataka is scheduled to go to assembly polls this summer.
This is Shah’s fourth visit to the poll-bound state in less than two months. He visited the state at the end of December last year when he attended programmes in Bengaluru and Mandya. In January-end, he visited Belagavi, and in February, Shah was in Dakshina Kannada, focusing on strengthening the party in coastal Karnataka.
Terming the Congress “tukde tukde gang”, Shah also invoked Ram mandir, surgical strike and abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir during his public address. “If you vote for the BJP, then Modi’s power will become stronger. Modi laid the foundation stone of Ram mandir. Only the BJP has the power to go to Pakistan and carry out a surgical strike,” Shah said.
“Kashmir is ours. PM Modi revoked the special status accorded for Kashmir. Congress’s Rahul Gandhi opposed this. He said that if the special status for Kashmir is removed, there will be blood. There was no blood, but there was only peace,” Shah added.
He also pointed out that the Modi government banned the Popular Front of India (PFI). “However, when Congress ruled, 1,700 cases against the PFI were withdrawn,” he added.
Raking up the alleged infighting in the Karnataka Congress for the chief ministerial post, the Union minister said: “There is only one position of CM Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar are fighting each other for it. This fighting will not help the people of the state. If the welfare of Karnataka is to be done, then only the BJP government has to be formed in the state, only then the state will develop.”
Senior Congress leaders Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah have endorsed themselves as the next chief minister of Karnataka several times in the run up to the elections, triggering rumours of political one-upmanship in the party.
“Siddaramaiah’s is an ‘ATM government’. Members of the ‘ATM government’ are in Delhi. Under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress is divided,” he said.
Later in the day, Shah addressed a gathering in Bengaluru on the ‘Indian Polity-65 years Scenario & Paradigm Shift Under Modi’. “Congress party, which played an important role in India’s freedom, is neck-deep in dynastic politics. There is no internal democracy. All the socialist parties have also gradually turned into casteist parties and then became dynastic,” Shah said.
Pointing out that there is a lot of confusion around BJP’s ideology, Shah said, “The first pillar of BJP’s ideology is cultural nationalism. Except India, all the countries are geo-political countries whereas our country is a geo-cultural country.”
“There was a policy paralysis before. There was rampant corruption, crony capitalism, inflation was through the roof, and India’s international rating was at its worst,” Shah said, adding that there has been a paradigm shift after BJP came to power.
Reacting to Shah’s remarks, Congress leader BK Hariprasad said the BJP was attempting to divert the attention of the public as they have done nothing for the state. “The home minister is the de facto prime minister. During Covid-19, he was nowhere (to be) seen. During floods in northern Karnataka and in Coorg, they were nowhere in the picture,” said the leader of the opposition in Karnataka legislative council. “It is not the Congress party which is indulged in corruption...They had four years’ time. If at all they have done something good for the people, they should say what they have done.”
Targeting the BJP further, the Congress leader said: “BJP leader Pragya Thakur makes statements asking people to sharpen their knives and keep them at home. Does she want to make children terrorists? We don’t want what is happening in Kashmir, we will look at that during Parliament elections. If he (Shah) says there is peace in Kashmir, why do BJP leaders only go there with security? They only want to diverts everyone’s attention because they have done nothing for Karnataka. If ours is an ‘ATM government’, theirs is a stock exchange.”
During the event, Shah also listed out several development projects and welfare programmes introduced and implemented by BJP-led central and state governments. “During Covid-19 pandemic, the Modi government gave free vaccination to every citizen in the country. Our government has ensured that the poor do not suffer during the pandemic, by giving free vaccines and rice,” he said.
After the public meeting, Shah held a core committee meeting with leaders and ticket aspirants of four districts in Bellary division, along with Yediyurappa, people familiar with the matter said.