Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah accused the ruling Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka of ignoring the concerns of Dalit and tribal communities. He also accused the Congress government of insulting Veer Madakari Nayaka while celebrating Tipu Jayanti.

“When Siddaramaiah government celebrates Tipu jayanti and remember Haider Ali, they insult Veer Madakari Nayaka,” he said.

Shah was addressing an ST convention at BMGHS high school ground in Challakere of Chitradurga district in poll-bound Karnataka.

He promised the gathering that if the BJP comes to power in the state, the party will erect a memorial to honour Madakari Nayaka in Chitradurga.

“We will also turn Chitradurga fort into a major tourism spot in Karnataka,” he said.

Shah slammed Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for favouring minorities over Dalits and other backward communities.

“We don’t have a problem with the government giving money to minorities, but the money meant for STs should not be allocated to them,” he said.

He said that Siddaramaiah government has allocated just Rs 123 crore for scholarships for SC/ST communities while allocating Rs 513 crore for minorities.

“The grant for minorities has been increased fourfold but budget for tribals remain unchanged,” he said adding that once BS Yeddyurappa becomes the Chief Minister he will ensure that justice is done with the tribals.

He said that the government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken many initiatives to help Dalit and tribal communities with employment across the country and also in Karnataka, including the formation of Eklavya schools.

“The budget for tribals was just Rs 19,000 crore during the Congress reign. It is now Rs 31,000 crore under the Modi regime,” Shah said while exhorting to throw out the “corrupt” Siddaramaiah government and elect Yeddyurappa for “vikas”.

Earlier today, Shah, who began his two-day visit in the state on Monday, paid tributes to Veer Madakari Nayaka and Veera Vanithe Onake Obavva – two of the greatest heroes of Chitradurga who fought against Hyder Ali, the father of Tipu Sultan.

The Election Commission announced the dates of the Assembly elections in Karnataka on Tuesday. Elections will be held on 12 May and the results will be out on the 15 May.