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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

I made a mistake, but the people of Karnataka will not: Amit Shah on his slip of tongue

BJP chief Amit Shah also criticised the Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka over the killings of BJP and RSS workers.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2018 11:26 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Bengaluru, Hindustan Times
BJP president Amit Shah addresses a rally in Mysore on Friday.
BJP president Amit Shah addresses a rally in Mysore on Friday. (PTI)

BJP president Amit Shah said on Friday that he might have made a mistake but the people of Karnataka will not make one, as he wooed voters of the state ahead of next month’s assembly points.

During a press conference at Davangere earlier this week, Shah had said that the “BS Yeddyurappa government was the most corrupt”, a mistake he quickly corrected. But the Congress had quickly latched onto it to mock Shah, saying that the BJP president was “speaking the truth”.

Yeddyurappa is the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for the May 12 polls.

“(Chief minister) Siddaramaiah and (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi were very happy over my gaffe while speaking about Siddaramaiah’s corruption. I had made a mistake, but the people of Karnataka will not make it, because they have understood Siddaramaiah’s government very well,” Shah told party workers in Mysuru.

Shah, who is on a two-day tour of the Mysuru region, accused the Congress government of becoming notorious for being corrupt.

“The Congress stands for corruption and violence,” Shah said.

“The JD (S) cannot change the Congress, and cannot hope to form a government. They can at best win a few seats. They cannot uproot the Congress, for that you will have to ensure the BJP’s victory and make Yeddyurappa the chief minister,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Shah and BJP leaders visited the Suttur Math, a monastery revered by the Lingayats, in the city. He also visited the erstwhile royal family of Mysuru and met the family of a slain Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker. A discussion was held with Dalit leaders of the district as well.

“If you want to celebrate the birth anniversary of great people why not celebrate the anniversaries of poet Kuvempu (KV Puttappa). You will not remember Sir M Visvesvaraya, in your search for votes you will only remember Tipu Sultan,” Shah said, as he mocked the Congress.

The 18th century ruler of Mysuru has been a source of constant friction between the two parties, with the Congress government in the state celebrating him and the BJP alleging that he murdered many Hindus.

Shah said there was only one choice before the people of Mysuru, the home district of Siddaramaiah. “It is a choice between a government working for the development of the state or one that is known for corruption,” he said.

“Mysuru is said to be the weakest region for the BJP. But after studying the organisation here I assure the workers here that this is the region where the Congress will face the biggest setback,” Shah said.

Earlier, speaking outside the house of Raju, Shah criticised the Siddaramaiah government over the killings of BJP and RSS workers. “There cannot be any space for violence in democracy. If the Siddaramaiah government thinks they can stop us through such violence they are mistaken. Around 24 of our workers have been murdered and the police have not taken any action,” he said.

Meanwhile, state Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the party will complain to the Election Commission against the BJP, alleging that Shah and other leaders promised Raju’s family monetary help of Rs 5 lakh.

“This is a gross violation of the model code of conduct,” Gundu Rao said. “We will ask the EC to ban Amit Shah from entering the state for this.”

This came hours after Chandramma, Raju’s mother, told the media that BJP leaders had promised her monetary compensation of Rs 5 lakh. “Yeddyurappa said they will give us a cheque of Rs 5 lakh as compensation,” she said.

However, BJP parliamentarian Pratap Simha said the compensation had already been paid.

“Dear Channels, @AmitShah ji did not give any money to Raju’s family, he only asked how much compensation we gave on behalf of the party n it was 5 lakh,” he tweeted.

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 21:04 IST

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