Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday sought to dismiss BJP President Amit Shah’s assertion that the saffron party will wrest power in the state assembly polls in 2018, saying his “strategy” of Uttar Pradesh would not succeed here. He also said that any attempt to break the society would not be possible in Karnataka, as “secularism was deep rooted” in the state.
“Yesterday, Amit Shah has arrived here and I am told that he will formulate a (poll) strategy. We are also in the politics for 40 years…but no strategy will be effective (here),” Siddaramaiah said. Shah, who arrived in Bengaluru on Saturday on a three-day visit to Karnataka to re-energise the rank and file, had said that the BJP in the state was united and it would return to power in the assembly polls under the leadership of state unit chief B S Yeddyurappa.
Speaking at a public event in Kalaburagi, the Chief Minister said “Someone’s house may be raided, the ED or the CBI may be sent behind someone… “I want to tell Shah that only these things can be done, but communal activities or attempts to break the society is impossible on Karnataka’s land, as this is the land of Basavanna, Kuvempu and Kanakadasa where they have sown the seeds of secularism that has grown into a huge tree today,” he said.
Sounding the poll bugle in Karnataka, Shah on Saturday had declared that the party was united and said, ‘Ab Ki Baar, BJP Sarkar’ (This time, a BJP government). Calling Siddaramaiah-led Congress government as “corrupt”, he had asked the people to over throw it.
Hitting back at Shah, Siddaramaiah today said the BJP’s strategy would not be successful in Karnataka. “They say, they did a strategy for Uttar Pradesh, they will also do here. Why they couldn’t do it in Punjab, Goa, and Manipur? It is impossible to do any such strategy in Karnataka,” he said.
Targeting Yeddyurappa, the Chief Minister termed his target of winning 150 of the 224 assembly seats in the polls due early next year an “illusion”. “Wherever he goes and come, he speaks about mission 150, it’s only an illusion,” Siddaramaiah said.