Kalaburagi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah hit out at Karnataka’s Congress government on Monday for celebrating the birth anniversary of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan instead of focusing on developing backward regions.
Shah also asked the other backward classes (OBCs) to vote out the Siddaramaiah government in the upcoming elections. “Hyderabad-Karnataka region lies between Hyderabad and Mumbai. It is so located that if an industrial corridor is made, it will provide jobs to lakhs of youths from the region. But they (Congress leaders) won’t do it," the BJP chief said.
The BJP leader claimed the previous B.S. Yeddyurappa government of the BJP worked for the development of the region. “...They (Congress) don’t do anything, but just Tipu Sultan, Tipu Sultan, Tipu Sultan....now they are even talking about celebrating Bahmani Samrajya (Bahmani Sultanate)..I don’t know what has happened to them. They don’t see anything else," Shah said as he attacked Congress leaders from the area including Mallikarjuna Kharge and Dharm Singh. He said the two leaders did little for the welfare of the region despite getting elected several times. “They did nothing other than supporting their sons (in politics)," he alleged.
The state government’s reported plans to celebrate the Bahmani Sultanate era art and culture has come under attack from the BJP, whose leaders dubbed the Bahmani rulers as “killers of Hindus" and “destroyers of temples". While Kalaburagi district in-charge minister Sharan Prakash Patil has maintained it will be a one-day celebration, chief minister Siddaramaiah said he was not aware of any proposed celebrations.
Bahmani Sultanate was a Muslim kingdom that ruled parts of the Deccan region in 1347-1527, with what is now known as Kalaburagi and Bidar as its capital. Its rulers constantly fought with those of the Vijayanagara empire for supremacy. Shah, who is on a three-day visit to north Karnataka region, was interacting with leaders of OBC communities.
The state assembly polls are expected in April-May this year. Noting that the OBCs constituted a large part of the state’s population, the BJP chief urged their leaders to usher in “parivartan" (change) by uprooting the Congress government. “The OBC community is the largest group in Karnataka...hope you understand me...So, the bigger responsibility for bringing in the change rests on whom? Please tell me. Once the OBC, the backward community decides, no one can save this Congress government. OBC community will have to root out the Congress government," he said.
Terming the Narendra Modi government a “huge factory" that generates electricity called development, Shah said the new dispensation in Karnataka should act like a transformer to access that electricity efficiently. “Here that transformer is burnt and that is the reason development is not reaching the masses and villages," he said. “Now, tell me what will you do if the transformer is burnt....don’t just change it, root it out? Root out this government, and bring in a government in its place with lotus flower, the BJP government that will make Karnataka the best within five years," he said.
Shah said constitutional status to the OBC Commission has been a long-standing demand of the community but the Congress opposed the bill to confer that status on the panel. “In Rajya Sabha, Congress showed its true face and did not allow the bill to get passed.
“Siddaramaiah speaks about Ahinda (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits). Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah have to be questioned on what they have to say about Congress party stalling the bill," he said. He accused the Congress of having double standards on the issue.
On the one hand, the Congress speaks about the upliftment of the backward communities, but when it comes to providing constitutional status to the Commission, they stall the bill in Rajya Sabha, Shah said. Targeting chief minister Siddaramaiah, the BJP chief said he spoke about the backward classes, but when it came to doing things for them, he catered to only the minorities.
He also accused the Congress government of creating hurdles in the way of the benefits of the Centre’s initiatives for OBCs from reaching them. “It is not reaching people on ground in the state because there is no BJP government here. Those in power here are always in the confrontation with Narendra Modi, sitting on the shoulders of Rahul baba (Rahul Gandhi)," Shah said. Bring a chief minister who works shoulder-to-shoulder with Narendra Modi to solve all issues faced by the OBCs in Karnataka, Shah said. “This work can only be done by our leader Yeddyurappa," he said.