Fresh from electoral victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday called upon the people of Karnataka to uproot the Congress from the southern state in the ensuing assembly election, due in early 2018.
“It is the turn of the people in Karnataka to throw Congress out of south India as voters did in Gujarat and Himachal in western and northern India recently,” said Adityanath at a huge public rally of the party here, about 410 km northwest of Bengaluru.
Flagging off the “Parivartan Yatra” (rally for change) of the party’s state unit in the city, Adityanath said the time had come to free Karnataka from Congress, as it believed in celebrating Tipu Jayanti rather than Hanuman Jayanti in the state.
“It’s unfortunate that the Congress worships a despotic Muslim ruler like Tipu Sultan than Hindu deity Hanuman, who hailed from Karnataka and served Lord Ram,” asserted Adityanath in his address to about one lakh people who gathered to mark the second leg of the party’s 90-day statewide rally in the run-up to the assembly poll in April 2018.
Accusing the Congress of indulging in divisive politics and dividing the people on caste and religious lines for votes, the UP Chief Minister urged the people to vote the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) back to power in the state and renew its march on the development path.
“Since our party (BJP) came to power at the Centre in May 2014, the (Narendra) Modi government had given Rs 10,000 crore to Karnataka for various development projects, including roads, highways, airports and seaports. An IIT was set up at Dharwad in this region (north Karnataka) in 2016. What did the Congress do for the state when it was in power for 10 years at the Centre and five years in the state,” asked Adityanath.
The BJP, which came to power in the state for the first time on its own after the 2008 assembly election, lost to the Congress in the 2013 assembly poll following a split in its state unit and five years of “misrule”, with three chief ministers at the helm of office.
“A progressive state like Karnataka, which is known the world over for its IT prowess, should get back to the development path by joining the other 19 states across the country where the BJP is in power and marching ahead on the path of progress,” said Adityanath in his 30-minute address in chaste Hindi.
Accusing the Congress government in the state of playing with the lives of farmers by not waiving off their entire loans and failing to provide drought relief in time, Adityanath asserted that his government had waived off Rs 36,000-crore loans of 86 lakh farmers across Uttar Pradesh after coming to power in July 2017.
He also blamed the Congress government for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, as evident from the alleged murders of a dozen BJP and Hindu activists in the coastal areas and growing crime rate in Bengaluru in the last four years.