BJP national president Amit Shah launched an all-out attack on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accusing him of engaging in "vote-bank politics" by celebrating the birth anniversary of the erstwhile Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.
"Karnataka celebrated statehood on November 1. The government did not celebrate it with the fervour it deserved, because Siddaramaiah is more interested in celebrating Tipu Jayanti on November 10," Shah said after launching the saffron party's 75-day poll campaign here.
The Karnataka BJP, which is staunchly opposing the government celebrating Tipu Jayanti since it considers him as a tyrant and anti-Hindu, was left red-faced after President Ram Nath Kovind recently hailed Tipu Sultan as a hero.
"Celebrating Tipu Jayanti is nothing but vote-bank politics and it will not do any good for people. I want to ask Siddaramaiah, more than 10 RSS workers have been murdered in your tenure. Do you have an answer for this?" Shah asked.
Shah was in the city to launch the Nava Karnataka Nirman Parivartan Yatra, a statewide campaign that will be led by BJP state president and chief ministerial face B S Yeddyurappa.
Using the corruption plank, Shah accused Siddaramaiah of shielding corrupt ministers while repeating his earlier claim that the Karnataka government was "the most corrupt government in India."
"This is a government where ministers face allegations, where unaccounted for money and diaries are seized. But no resignation is sought. That's because Siddaramaiah is scared that if he demands their resignation, they will expose the truth," Shah said.
"The Congress wanted to build a steel bridge in Bengaluru, it tried to denotify 1,500 lakes to benefit real estate players, it has weakened the Lokayukta. Siddaramaiah government has broken all records of corruption," he said.
Shah went on to accuse the ruling Congress of eating into grants released by the Modi government at the Centre. "The UPA, under the 13th Finance Commission, gave Karnataka Rs 88,583 crore. The Modi government has given Karnataka Rs 2,19,506 crore. Where did all this money go? Has it reached villages? Siddaramaiah has to answer," Shah said. He went on to say that the Centre had given Karnataka Rs 39,000 crore under the Mudra scheme, Rs 960 crore for Smart Cities and Rs 4,900 crore for Amrut scheme. Modi has sent all this money to help the people of Karnataka, but it is not reaching them because of a corrupt government," Shah said.
The BJP president mocked Siddaramaiah's credentials as a leader of the backward classes. "Modi brought a Bill to accord Constitutional status to the OBC commission. But his Congress party blocked it in the Rajya Sabha," Shah said.
DH News Service