BENGALURU : During his 2 day tour of Karnataka to campaign for the state assembly election, not only did Amit Shah try to undo the damage to his party his recent gaffes did, he also carried out a scathing attack on the ruling Congress and CM Siddaramaiah.
He claimed with gusto that the Congress will lose this election and BJP will come to power this time and B S Yedyurappa will be Karnataka’s next chief minister.
Addressing a meeting of Shakti Kendra Pramukhs in Bangalore, he said, ‘Once Rajiv Gandhi ji had taunted us when we had just two MPs, saying 'BJP believes in hum do hamare do'. Today, BJP has a full majority in Parliament, has more than 1,600 MLAs, in power in 20 states and in numerous local bodies and municipalities.’
He cornered Siddaramaiah asking him to explain where his govt. has spent the sum of Rs. 219506 crores granted to the state by the 14th Finance Commission. He also questioned if the govt. had taken any measures at all for the development of Karnataka. During this tour, Shah is slated to meet party workers and consult prominent figures, like industrialists, traders and intellectuals for suggestions and views about BJP’s manifesto for the assembly election. He will also participate in a roadshow in Hoskote. Amit Shah has also rented out a duplex bungalow in Fairfield Layout, just 2 km from Vidhana Soudha, in Bangalore, to stay and monitor the elections closely.
Members of the Lingayat section staged a protest near Chalukya Circle in Bangalore against Amit Shah before his arrival at a function to honor Lingayat leader Basaveshwara, demanding that he ask the Central govt. to approve the recommendation to grant Lingayats a separate religion status. The police managed to disperse the protestors from there.
Shah has delegated several election related responsibilities to his trusted aides to ensure better management. Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal, both Union ministers, are in charge, along with BL Santosh and Arun Kumar of Karnataka RSS. Ram Madhav, general secretary of BJP, is in charge of Hyderabad Karnataka region, Bhupendra Yadav has been given Mumbai Karnataka region, Maharashtra MLA Ashish Shelar is handling Bangalore and Satish Upadhyay, former BJP Delhi president, is responsible for Old Msyore region.
As the fight gets tougher in the state, all three parties, Congress, BJP and JD(S) are trying to put up a brave front and exude confidence about victory, while pointing accusatory fingers at each other. The magic number of 113 (seats to be won to get simple majority in the state assembly) is what everyone is fighting tooth and nail for. However, it cannot be said that the electorate is in favor or against any one party of the three. The ruling Congress has its own loyalists, while the same can be said for BJP, the challenger, and also JD(S). Though the state has a record of voting out incumbents, Congress may gain frm its local connect and Kannada pride narrative, which the BJP seems to miss.