Bengaluru: Union Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, who served as the BJP in-charge here about a decade ago, on Sunday gave a clarion call to Karnataka to join 'aspirational India's’ movement by becoming Congress-mukt.
Speaking at a function organised by the Bengaluru city BJP to celebrate the completion of three years of the Modi government at the Centre, Jaitley said Assembly elections were round the corner and Karnataka was the only major state ruled by the Congress. He did not forget to take a dig at the Karnataka government led by Siddaramaiah, while referring to the seizure of a diary from Congress MLC Govindaraju (hinting at paybacks made to Congress leaders to get the controversial steel flyover project through) and quipped that such cash transactions undoubtedly leave footprints.
The BJP leader spoke of the changing contours of politics saying that unlike earlier, when people voted for caste or dynasties both at the Centre and in the states, their dictum now was ‘perform or perish.’ Elections held since 2014 have proved this to be true, he said. Taking a dig at former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, Jaitley said leaders can’t be indecisive and a prime minister can’t claim sympathy for not being allowed to perform. It was the ability to perform and cleanse the system which mattered, he said. Defending demonetization and the surgical strikes against Pakistan, he said the PM’s initiative had proved all columnists wrong with the economy bouncing back and re-monetization happening in a short period with tax evasion eradicated. On the recent surgical strikes by India against Pakistan, he said it had stunned the neighbouring country which was expecting a traditional complaint to be made with the international community against its acts of terror.
He however felt the political divide in the country over the strikes was unfortunate. As for the tensions in Kashmir, Jaitley recalled that when in the opposition, the BJP had always supported national interests but the current opposition was not doing so....