Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday accused the Congress government in poll-bound Karnataka of adopting “the model of political violence” from Kerala, but assured people that BJP will end the violent targeting of political workers if it comes to power in the state. Addressing a series of campaign meetings for BJP, Singh also claimed that there have been 3,781 cases of suicide by farmers during the five-year Congress rule led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
“It seems the Congress government in Karnataka has adopted the model of political violence from neighbouring Kerala. Many political workers were killed under Siddaramaiah’s rule. The BJP will bring an end to the political violence after coming to power in Karnataka,” he said. The campaign for the 224-member Karnataka Assembly is heating up with prominent leaders visiting the state and the political parties announcing their candidate lists for the polls.
BJP, which is making an all-out effort to oust the Congress government from the state, today released its fourth list of candidates. With that, it has declared nominees for 220 seats. On March 30, BJP president Amit Shah, on his fourth visit to the state after the announcement of the polling date, had accused the state government of unleashing violence against BJP and RSS workers.
On Monday, Singh also expressed concern over the state of law and order in Karnataka, claiming not even senior government officials were safe. “Who is responsible for the death of Mangaluru Deputy SP M K Ganapathi? Who humiliated Mysore Collector Shikha Rai? Even Lokayukta was stabbed in his office,” Singh said.
Ganapathy, 51, was found hanging from the ceiling fan at a lodge in Madikeri on July 7, prior to which he gave an interview to a TV channel in which he held a state government minister and senior administration officials responsible “if anything happens” to him. Karnataka’s lokayukta Vishwanath Shetty was injured at his office in Bengaluru in early March, allegedly by a man angry over Shetty’s refusal to entertain his complaint.
Singh said Siddaramaiah had promised to give Rs 1 lakh as assistance to the family of farmers who committed suicide but has not done that yet. “It shows the insensitivity of the Siddaramaiah government.” Singh said the Siddaramaiah government claims it is “Sidde Sarkar” – but in reality “Sidde Sarkar is Nidde Sarkar” (Siddharamaih government is a sleeping government). He said politics should not be guided by caste, religion or sect but by principles of justice and humanity. “Congress is playing ‘minority-majority’ card just before elections,” he said.
The home minister alleged Congress has devised new ways to divert people’s attention from its failure – it celebrated the ‘Tipu Jayanti’ but does not allow the celebration of ‘Hanuman Jayanti’. Singh alleged corruption and Congress are the two sides of a coin but there has not been a single charge against any minister under the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.
In Karnataka however, Singh said, not much has changed in the past five years of Congress rule. The Centre gave more than Rs 2 lakh crore to Karnataka under the 14th Finance Commission, while the state had received only Rs 88,000 crore under the UPA dispensation, he said. Singh said B S Yeddyurappa, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, ran a farmer-friendly government in Karnataka and only he can provide a farmer-friendly government to the state. Referring to his close connection with Karnataka, Singh said when he became the BJP national president, Karnataka was the first southern state where the party formed government. “I have a close emotional connect with Karnataka,” he said.
In an obvious reference to the opposition parties move to impeach Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, the home minister said nobody should diminish the importance of constitutional bodies and authorities of the country. “May God give these people good sense,” he said. Singh said the NDA government has introduced a scheme named ‘Ayushman Bharat’ to provide medical cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10 crore poor families of the country. “We in the BJP work as socio-political workers. Our Party is working towards giving good and better governance to people,” he said.