Accusing the Congress government in Karnataka of being the most corrupt government in the country, BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday flagged off a 75-day yatra by Karnataka BJP chief and the party’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa.
The Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivartana Yatra, which will see Yeddyurappa (74) travelling to all 224 Assembly constituencies in a specially designed bus, is aimed at stepping up the BJP’s campaign for state polls due next year. “It is a yatra to transform the situation in Karnataka. We want to change the condition of farmers, we want to change the condition of youths, we want to change the law and order situation in Karnataka and we want to replace this corrupt government with a honest and visionary one under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Yeddyurappa,’’ Shah said before flagging off the yatra at a function on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
“The Siddaramaiah government has broken all records of corruption and looted the people of Karnataka,’’ he said. “Wherever the BJP is in power, be it Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh or Uttarakhand, it has provided exemplary governance and worked for development. Karnataka was not a backward state, but in the past five years development here has come to a halt. All money sent by the Centre has been looted,’’ Shah alleged.
He claimed that the Siddaramaiah government was more interested in celebrating the birth anniversary of 18th-century ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan on November 10 than in observing the state formation day on November 1. “By celebrating Tipu Jayanti, they want to indulge in vote-bank politics,’’ Shah said.
Yeddyurappa said he was embarking on the yatra to “fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and party president Amit Shah’s expectation of getting rid of the Congress from Karnataka’’. “With the Modi government in power at the Centre, if we have a BJP government in Karnataka, we will be able to ensure development,” he said. “Our vision is to protect the agriculture sector and the livelihood of the farmer. The income of farmers must double, every village must have water supply, there should be 24-hour power supply. This is the vision of Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah. We promise to make Karnataka a model state,’’ he said.
Commenting on the yatra, Siddaramaiah said, “BJP leaders are the ones who need to undergo transformation because they are disrupting communal harmony in the name of Hindutva.” The CM said the people of Karnataka, who gave the BJP a chance to govern a few years ago, have not forgotten the crimes committed by them. “During the tenure of Yeddyurappa, the Reddy brothers of Bellary were allowed to loot the state. They were given a free run in return for funds provided by them,” he added.
Siddaramaiah accused the BJP of neglecting issues like farm loan waiver and the Mahadayi river water dispute with Goa. “People of Karnataka are politically aware unlike their counterparts in UP and other southern states. They are not emotional. Tactics of polarisation will not work here,’’ he said.