Video footage of a senior BJP leader in Karnataka asking party workers never to hesitate from bluffing to voters to win political support in the state has served as ammunition for the ruling Congress in the state to question the legitimacy of political issues raised by the BJP.
In the video, former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa asked party workers at a meeting in Koppal region of Karnataka on December 4 to lie to voters if necessary to win their support.
“We need to tell the people about all the accomplishments of the BJP — the government at the centre and what we will do in Karnataka — we need to tell people about what we have done for backward castes, scheduled castes, for farmers, for women. In case you do not know, tell some lies or something. We are politicians, we should not say we don’t know when it comes to anything,’’ he is heard saying in the video footage.
He goes on to give the example of using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s macho image to embellish narratives about the BJP’s achievements if necessary.
“You must say that Pakistan never dared attack India when Vajpayee was Prime Minister, but when Manmohan Singh became the PM Indian soldiers were attacked and killed by Pakistan’s army. You must say that when Modi became the PM he finished 10 soldiers in Pakistan. You must spin it like that. Even if you don’t know these things, you are aware of the machismo of PM Modi, use that to spin a story — we will see what happens later,’’ Eshwarappa said.
“When you visit the homes of people, if you sit quietly when they tell you that Manmohan Singh provided great administration when he was PM or when they tell you that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has done a lot for Dalits, then we will have to shut shop and go away,” Eshwarappa tells the workers.
The Congress targeted the BJP leader, saying his speech is a reflection of BJP political strategy. “The statements by Eshwarappa are a reflection of the BJP’s political strategy and culture. They are spreading lies through their campaigns around the state and urging party workers to follow their actions,” Congress working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said.
Eshwarappa refused to comment on the video, saying that his speech was made at an internal meeting for BJP workers.