Rubbishing charges levelled by BJP national president Amit Shah during his three-day visit to the state, the Congress, on Sunday, retaliated by dubbing his visit as “a conspiracy to bring down democratically elected Congress government in the State”.
Dinesh Gundu Rao, working president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, posed a series of questions and demanded Mr. Shah’s response to the same before his departure to New Delhi.
Accusing the BJP of propagating lies through its pracharaks and creating communal tension, he released a detailed report on false claims of NDA government and findings of reality check on issues concerning various government programmes.
Reacting to Mr. Shah's allegation that the Siddaramaiah government was the most corrupt in India, Mr. Rao sought to know whether he (Mr. Shah) had any moral right to make such baseless allegations, while sitting next to party's state president B.S. Yeddyurappa, who went to jail on charges of corruption.
"Mr. Shah claims to know how to root out Congress from Karnataka. But, we know well his strategies to ‘terrorise’ the opposition - by creating communal tensions, launching Operation Kamala and using central agencies such as Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation. The Congress is ready to face these strategies... let him not dream of bringing down Congress government using these ‘anti-democratic’ strategies,” he said.
Taking state BJP and Mr. Shah head on, Mr. Rao alleged that by spreading rumours about sensitive, emotional issues such as Ganesha festival, posting fake pictures of potholed roads, the state BJP was trying its best to divide society in the name of religion and marring the brand image of Bengaluru.
Seeking an explanation from Mr. Shah on the "pseudo" concern of BJP, Mr. Rao sought to know BJP-led NDA government's stand on Cauvery, Mahadayi and discrimination made against Karnataka in releasing drought relief. “ While BJP governed states - Gujarat and Maharashtra - were given higher allocation, Karnataka received a paltry ₹1,500 crore as drought relief. The compensation will dip further with the new rules for drought relief,” he pointed out. He also challenged the centre, which claimed be “pro-farmer”, to waive farm loans from nationalised banks. The state has already waived loans from cooperative banks, he pointed out.
Mr. Rao also claimed that by imposing Hindi and amending rules of recruitment for nationalised banks, the NDA government was affecting the federal structure. “Over 8,000 Kannadigas are being denied jobs in banks because of the new recruitment rules framed by Institute of Banking and Personnel Selection,” he observed.
Accusing BJP of poaching Congress leaders, he sought to know why former Union Ministers S.M. Krishna and V. Srinivas Prasad were side lined during Mr. Shah’s visit.
The Congress welcomed the decision of actor Upendra of launching a new political outfit Prajakarana. “Every citizen has the right to float his own political party. Karnataka has seen many attempts of this kind, including KJP, KCP, Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Party, Kranti Ranga and others. But none have survived,” remarked Mr. Rao.
He also maintained that a party can be floated only through people's movement. “I have not seen Mr. Upendra taking a stand on issues related to people so far,” he said.