‘BJP will be reduced to single digit in state’

Minister for Water Resources D K Shivakumar speaks to reporters in Mangaluru on Monday.

Minister for Water Resources D K Shivakumar said that the BJP will be reduced to single digit in Karnataka in the Lok Sabha elections.

He told reporters at the Congress Bhavan in the city on Monday that the BJP in the past had formed a government on the basis of false promises. “It is not possible this time. The Congress – JD(S) coalition will not allow BJP to win more than one seat in Karnataka,” he declared.

“I had expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a report card on the achievements of the NDA government during his visit to Mangaluru recently. The prime minister, however, did not raise a word on ‘Acche Din’. Now, once again, he is lying and seeking votes. The NDA government, led by Modi, failed to fulfil the promises announced in the manifesto. The coalition of the JD(S) and the Congress will benefit the Congress,” the minister claimed.

‘Differences sorted out’

Shivakumar claimed that all differences of opinion among the coalition partners in Mandya, Hassan and other constituencies had sorted out.

“Sitting MP of Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency Nalin Kumar Kateel should provide a report card on his contributions in the past 10 years in the district. As an MP, he has failed to represent the district in the Parliament, but he spoke of setting fire to the district. There is a need to prevent such people from becoming an MP again,” he stressed.

He added, “As an MP, Kateel did not get any Central government – sponsored grants for the promotion of tourism in the district. Although the BJP claims credit for Smart City Mission and AMRUT Scheme, the state government had not received any grant under the Smart City Mission.”

Under one umbrella

He urged voters in the district to support young and able Congress – JD(S) candidate Mithun Rai, who is capable of taking all people, irrespective of caste and creed, under one umbrella.

“Had Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, MPs Shobha Karandlaje and Kateel taken a delegation of all the 28 MPs from Karnataka and pressurised the Union government, the merger of Vijaya Bank would not have been possible. They, however, kept quiet. Instead, they should have tendered resignation for having failed to protect the pride of Dakshina Kannada,” said Shivakumar.

To a query on the difference of opinions with Home Minister M B Patil over religious status to Lingayats, the minister said, “My stand is firm. There is a need for ‘Dharma’ in politics, but religion should not have politics.”

On being slapped with notice from Income Tax Department for staging a protest in front of the I-T Department office, Shivakumar said, “I and some of my Cabinet colleagues had received notice. We did not protest. We went to ascertain whether the I-T officials were misusing their power. We were accompanied by party workers. We consoled them and sent them back.”

‘Hindutva is not anyone’s property’

Shivakumar said that Hindutva is not anyone’s property.

“None had applied to be born in a particular caste or religion. The Congress – JD(S) candidate Mithun Rai too is a Hanuman devotee and follows the culture, rituals and tradition of Hinduism,” said the minister.

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‘BJP will be reduced to single digit in state’

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