Bengaluru: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah on Thursday accused the Congress party of not allowing the Parliament to function, which resulted in the wasting of about Rs200 crore of the taxpayers money.
Shah, who is in Karnataka for a two-day visit, started his day on Thursday by sitting on a protest outside the district commissioner office in Dharwad, about 450 kms from Bengaluru, against the ‘undemocratic and divisive politics’ of the Congress party.
He said the party was ready to take up any issue but that the Congress did not allow the Parliament to function in the recently concluded session which saw more disruptions than discussions leading to a complete washout. “For the first time in the parliamentary history, an opposition party shied away from discussing the issues concerning nation," the party said in a statement on Thursday.
With Karnataka assembly elections coming up, the BJP and the Congress have targeted each other not just at the state level but also at the national level, including on issues such as corruption, deteriorating law and order, demonetisation, goods and services tax (GST), rising fuel prices and increasing polarisation.
As one of the last big states under Congress rule, Karnataka has become the biggest battle ground outside of Delhi for the two parties. The BJP is working hard to try and remove the incumbent Siddaramaiah government, while the Congress is trying to retain power in the state, which would also help the party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“It (Congress) engineered caste conflicts in many states to get votes. In Karnataka also, it tried to divide people on the basis of caste-creed, religion and minorities," Shah said in a statement.
BJP leaders on Thursday observed a day-long fast to protest against the recent washout of the Parliament session.
Senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Thursday termed it as a “farcist fast of a fascist government." Addressing the media in Bengaluru, Surjewala who is the national spokesperson for the Congress, said the BJP had used its proxies to disrupt Parliament and has kept up the practice when it was in opposition as well.
Surjewala also targeted the BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the “Beti Bachao" slogan was a warning and not a campaign to educate the girl child, in an apparent reference to the recent allegations of sexual assault against BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brothers in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.
Shah also visited the influential Mathas (monasteries) in the northern part of the state including the Siddaruda Matha, Puttaraj Gawai Ashram, Veera Narayanaswamy temple and Moor Saavira Matha among other places, including a road show.
Shah will continue his outreach programmes and election campaigning on Friday as well with a road show and a women’s convention among other programmes.