Bengaluru: BJP national president, Amit Shah declared his chief ministerial candidates for the 2018 Assembly elections as the state unit chief and former Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa here on Saturday making it clear that he would stand for no dissidence from rival claimants even in the face of some unhappiness in the ranks over the role of BSY's coterie.
Arriving at the airport to a near euphoric welcome, he addressed party workers at the BJP office in Malleswaram.
Mr. Shah, who is here on a three day visit to bolster party unity and build it up from the booth level, said the party hoped to gain a foothold in south India by coming to power in Karnataka in the coming assembly polls and told party workers not to rest until they had removed the 'corrupt' Congress government in the state.
"My focus in Karnataka is not only on strengthening the party base, but also on removing the corrupt Congress government and installing a BJP government in its place in 2018," he said, noting that since winning the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won one election after another in the country.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity has helped the party win many elections. In my three days here we will discuss preparations for the Assembly elections. Besides strengthening the party organisation from the booth level onwards, we will have to chalk out a plan for the coming poll," Mr. Shah said, urging the party workers to fight unitedly to bring the BJP to power in the state.
Also, observing that the country had never seen such unemployment before as today, he said, “Mr Modi had promised to generate two crore jobs, but has been able to create only one lakh jobs during the last three years. On the contrary the Siddramaiah government has provided 30,000 jobs in the government sector. While the Congress party wants to help the last man in a queue, the BJP government wants to benefit those at the top. This is the difference between the Modi government and a Congress government.”
Referring to the “Make in India” programme announced by Mr Modi, Mr Gandhi noted that not even one new industry had been opened by his government.
On the other hand, lauding the performance of the Siddaramaiah government, he asserted that it would come back to power in the state in the 2018 elections as it had delivered on all its promises. In his address, CM Siddaramaiah exuded confidence that his government would return to power for a second term.
“BJP leaders are hoping to come back to power by fomenting communal trouble in the state. But (Amit) Shah’s tricks won’t work in Karnataka, which is a land of Basavanna, Kanakadasa and Kuvempu. Nobody can stop me from retaining power in 2018 and Rahul Gandhi from becoming PM in 2019,” he thundered. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, KPCC president Dr G. Parameshwar and former Union Minister Muniyappa spoke.
DKS: I am a disciplined Congress soldier
Energy Minister D K Shivakumar, who is smarting under the recent Income Tax raids on his properties , described himself as a “disciplined solider” of the party on Saturday and reassured Congress leaders that he had not done anything to cause them any hurt or pain.
Addressing the rally to felicitate AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, he referred to the the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat saying it had turned into “a big fight,” but eventually truth had won (Satyameva Jayate). “This victory has given a big boost to the Congress workers,” he added.
Claiming that efforts were being made to divide the Congress, he urged party workers not to be disturbed by such attempts, but remain courageous as only the party could protect the country. Mr Shivakumar was put in charge of keeping the Congress flock together before the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat and was raided even as he was busy keeping the MLAs “safe” at a resort near Bengaluru. Meanwhile, working president of KPCC S.R. Patil asserted that no force could destroy the Congress. “The Congress has a history of successfully fighting the British. When it could take on the mighty British empire, why not the opposition parties in the country?” he asked.