Bengaluru: Giving broad indications of the shape the BJP’s campaign would take during the Assembly polls in 2018, the party’s national president Amit Shah on Thursday made a scathing attack on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah remarking that the CM was more enthusiastic about celebrating the birth anniversary of erstwhile Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan then the prestigious Kannada Rajyotsava or State Formation Day.
It was obvious from the tenor of his speech that the BJP, during the polls, now just six months away, would try to tap pro-Hindu sentiments and focus on the shortcomings of the Congress government and Mr Siddaramaiah in particular.
The party has been opposing Tipu Jayanti as it considers Tipu a ‘religious bigot’ and a ‘brutal killer’ of Hindus.
Flagging off the BJP's 75-day Parivarthana rally, which will touch all 224 Assembly constituencies in the state, on Thursday, Mr Shah said the Chief Minister should have celebrated Rajyotsava in a grand manner but was more focused on Tipu Jayanti which falls on November 10. Dubbing it vote bank politics by the Congress, he said it would not help in the development of Karnataka in any way.
Law and order in the state has collapsed in the state after the Congress came to power and more than 19 RSS and BJP workers had been brutally killed but the CM was busy withdrawing cases filed against the pro-minority SDPI, which has even been branded anti-national, said the BJP chief. "Mr Siddaramaiah branded himself as a champion of the backward classes but his party has opposed the Central bill on providing constitutional status to the BCs Commission. The Congress even defeated the bill in the Upper House of parliament,” he said. He made it clear that the intention of the Yatra was not to remove Congress government or its CM but to harp on the need to transform Karnataka, change the status of farmers and youth and ensure that a honest and transparent government is installed. Hitting out at the CM for his attempts to blame the Centre for meting out step-motherly treatment to the state, Mr Shah reeled out statistics on the release of massive Central grants to Karnataka after the Modi-led government came to power. According to him, during the tenure of the 13th Finance Commission, the Centre released Rs 88,583 crore to Karnataka which went up to Rs 2,19,506 crore under the 14th Finance Commission. The state thus got an additional Rs 1.30 lakh crore funds, he said and demanded that the CM furnish an account on where the funds had gone?
Besides, the Centre had released Rs 39,000 crore under the Mudra Bank scheme, `960 crore under the Smart City scheme, Rs 2,617 crore for Bengauru Metro and Rs 2197 cr for railway projects, but these funds had not been spent by the government, he claimed.
Mr Shah spoke of a recent survey which had ranked Karnataka as the most corrupt state and alleged that the Siddaramaiah government was involved in the steel bridge scam and murky real estate deals. He referred to the seizure of a diary from a Congress MLC considered close to the CM in which the names of several ministers and payments made, had allegedly figured and said the CM was hesitant to demand the resignation of these ministers as he feared they would expose him.