Bengaluru: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President Amit Shah began his 3-day visit to the State on Saturday by taking the Congress head-on and stating that he was here to root out Congress in the State.
‘I have come here to realise the slogan ‘Ab Ki Bar BJP Sarkar’ and will not rest till the corrupt Congress is voted out of power,’ he said to loud applause from party workers at the party State headquarters in Bengaluru.
Attacking Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and calling his government the most corrupt and shameless, Shah said Siddharamaiah did not act against his Minister D.K. Shivakumar even after he was raided by Income-tax officials.
He called upon BJP workers not to rest till the Congress is rooted out in the State. Claiming that the people of the State had decided to vote the BJP to power in the 2018 Assembly polls, he said victory in the Assembly polls should again open the road to South India for the party in 2019 Parliamentary election, like it did in 2008.
Urging the people to make State Party President B.S. Yeddyurappa as the next Chief Minister, Shah said the party is geared to take the electoral battle under the leadership of B.S. Yeddyurappa.
He said that while the BJP has an ideology and stand on several issues, the Congress had no ideology and was still carrying the ashes of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi across the country.
Shah set the agenda for Karnataka State BJP leadership to counter ‘Congress’ polarisation politics. Earlier, Shah upon his arrival in Bengaluru in the morning, cracked the whip on the warring factions and told them to be loyal to the party. Pointing out that the party will not tolerate any kind of indiscipline, he said all the functionaries should toe the party line and should work as one family.
Addressing the State Core- Committee members comprising senior State unit leaders, including State President B.S. Yeddyurappa and his bete noire K.S. Eshwarappa, Shah expressed his strong displeasure at the State leadership for not effectively taking on the State Government on corruption.
During the course of the meeting, Shah is learnt to have asked the Party State unit to counter the Congress on four emotive issues — demand for a separate Lingayat religion, allegations that the centre is imposing Hindi, demand for a separate State flag and the Inter-State Mahadayi river water row.
Once the action plan is ready, the BJP Central leadership would finalise it through consultation with the State unit. Instructing the Legislators and MPs not to confine to their own constituencies and instead work for the party’s success in their neighbouring constituencies, Shah asked the MLAs to focus on one neighbouring constituency apart from their own.
Acknowledging that strengthening booth-level committees of the party organisation and constant interface with members of such committees played a key role in the party’s success in Uttar Pradesh, he asked the Karnataka Unit to give full attention to such committees. Emphasising on the need for party MLAs to take up programmes to reach out to people on various issues, he directed the State Organising General Secretary to prepare a plan.
Hailing the recently concluded Vistaraka programme under which party volunteers camped in different places for 15 days to take up door-to-door visits, Shah directed the cadre to build further on such activities. He also told the Legislators that it was their duty that active party agents are appointed in each of the 53,000 polling booths well ahead of the 2018 polls. Shah is also understood to have expressed displeasure at the flexes and banners on the stretch from the KIAL Airport to the State party office. Shah is said to have told senior State Party leaders that people’s hearts cannot be won by mere flexes and banners and one has to prove oneself through work.
BJP leaders taken aback
The BJP Legislators and MPs, who attended the meeting, were taken aback when Shah reportedly remarked. Do you know to read and write’?
Shah was annoyed as most of them had not brought a notebook or pen to jot-down points suggested by him. Sensing his mood, the party leaders immediately ensured that all of them were supplied with notebooks and pens and the elected representatives promptly jotted down the points.