New Delhi: Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed if the Congress were to come to power in Karnataka, the state would be “afflicted by riots”.
Shah was speaking at a campaign rally in Terdal, Belagavi district. The Congress, the home minister told the crowd, will only bring “appeasement politics” to Karnataka. Development will slip into “reverse gear” if the BJP is not elected, he continued.
“Only BJP can lead the state towards a new Karnataka,” The Times of India quoted Shah as saying.
Karnataka will vote on May 10 and the results will be announced on May 13. Shah is currently on a two-day trip across the state to campaign.
In his speech, the home minister also brought up what is currently an emotive issue for both the Congress and the BJP – who will win the Lingayat votes. Two senior Lingayat leaders, Laxman Savadi and Jagadish Shettar, have recently crossed over from the BJP to the Congress. “Congress has always insulted the Lingayat community because in its long rule in the state it could give only two Lingayat chief ministers — S. Nijalingappa and Veerendra Patil — both of whom were humiliated and sacked from the party,” Shah said in Terdal, according to Hindustan Times.
“After unseating Yediyurappa using the JD(S), you want to move forward with the help of some of our leaders. But the people of Karnataka, especially those from ‘Kittur Karnataka’ region in the northern part of the state, will not tolerate it,” Shah continued.
Shah also defended the BJP government in Karnataka’s decision to scrap 4% reservations for Muslims. “Whose reservation will be decreased if 4% reservation for Muslims is restored? Will it be Vokkaligas or Lingayats, Dalits, Scheduled Tribes or the Other Backward Castes?” Shah asked.