Bengaluru: On a day when Karnataka CM Siddaramiah termed BJP as a party of criminals, Amit Shah returned scathing fire by questioning what decades of Congress rule had done for the state.
The verbal battles ahead of assembly elections next month have intensified in recent days with both BJP and Congress leaders trading barbs. While Siddaramaiah most-recently said BJP thinks like criminals do, Amit Shah highlighted the current state government's inability to tackle problems like corruption and slow development of infrastructure. "I want to ask Rahul (Gandhi): Your great grandfather (Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru) ruled this state, then Indira Gandhi, then Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Congress had four generations in command here but what did each generation do to help? PM Modi's government at the centre has done more for Karnataka in the last four years than four generations in Congress could ever do," said Amit Shah.
The BJP national chief then went onto accuse Congress leaders of coining terms like Hindu terror and warned that those guilty of murdering BJP workers in the state won't be spared once BS Yeddyurappa is voted to power. "For several years, Congress defamed the country around the world by using terms like saffron terror and Hindu terror. Now, Congress leaders say they never used these words despite being on record having said so. I ask you Rahul ji, does terror have any religion?" said the 53-year-old. "Siddaramaiah government has been shielding those who have murdered BJP workers in the state. I assure you, once BJP government comes to power, these criminals would be brought back even from the depths of hell and put behind bars."
Amit Shah has been spearheading BJP's campaign in Karnataka - a state the party feels could be its first political port of call moving south. Stakes are high as a defeat could halt the momentum BJP is banking on ahead of Lok Sabha elections. Congress too has a lot to lose as the party is now on the cusp of being wiped out. Karnataka - apart from Punjab - is the only big state still under its control.