New Delhi: Amit Shah has campaigned long and hard ahead of the Karnataka Assembly elections. With just days to go before 5.6 crore voters cast their votes on May 12, the BJP chief - in an exclusive interview with Zee News - said his party is confident of cruising past the halfway-mark and is sure BS Yeddyurappa would prove to be a capable CM.
Here are excerpts from Amit Shah's interview with Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary:
On why Karnataka needs to shun Congress for BJP:
The present scenario in Karnataka is alarming. Law and order has collapsed. The interests of the common man has been ignored for four years. Farmers are committing suicide - in fact there has been a 173% jump in farmer suicides since Congress came to power in the state. Karnataka needs a government which listens to the needs of the people, that worries for them and works for them.
On Lingayat issue:
We are at receiving end of issues like Lingayat. They (Congress) did not bring up these issues in last four years but only in the last six months. Our strategy has not changed because of it - people of Karnataka are intelligent enough to see through it. They (Congress) have only brought up such matters because of the upcoming elections. (Read more here)
On Rahul Gandhi campaigning for Congress in the state:
Congress has fought many elections under Rahul Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi may have been party chief but Rahul was at the helm of campaigning previously as well. Now that he is president of Congress, nothing has changed. He and his party will once again lose. It does not matter who leads the party in Karnataka - Rahul or Siddaramaih, problems of people have remained and they will punish Congress for it. People of Karnataka won't tolerate being ignored.
On PM Narendra Modi campaigning for BJP in the state:
It is very unfortunate for the country that India previously had a PM who did not take part in election rallies. Reaching out to people by political leaders - even if he is the PM of the country - is part of democracy. We have to listen to the people, talk to them and devise how best to help them. There is nothing wrong in that. He (PM Modi) is a popular leader, why won't he reach out to people?
On Yogi Adityanath campaigning for BJP in the state:
It is not just Adityanath who has campaigned for the party here. We have called CMs from other BJP-ruled states. (Madhya Pradesh CM) Shivraj Singh Chauhan came, so did (Chhattisgarh CM) Raman Singh. It all depends on how much time each can give. Adityanath is not the only CM to have come to Karnataka.
On naming Yeddyurappa as BJP's CM candidate:
There is no trial against Yeddyurappa, cases against him have been quashed. Are we not considering courts as the final authority? Moral issues are only till cases are being heard in courts. There is no case against Yeddyurappa and he has passed all tests.
On the possibility of forming alliances after elections:
The question of post-poll partner does not arise because BJP is coming to power with full majority. We do not have pre-poll partner and won't have post-poll partner either.
On possible anti-incumbency against Modi government at the Centre:
There is absolutely no anti-incumbency factor. In 2014, we promised what we would do. Now, we are showing what all we have done. In fact, it is this that will help BJP get blessings from people.