Bengaluru: BJP president Amit Shah had on Friday taken a dig at Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for deciding to contest from two constituencies in the upcoming assembly elections, saying the person on whom the Congress was dependent was 'running away' and looking for a safer seat.
"The Congress depends on Siddaramaiah in this assembly election. He himself is running away from the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency to the Badami assembly constituency. How much can you escape? Our candidate B Sriramulu will defeat you," he said at a public rally at Gangavathi in Koppal district.
Referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi posing questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on national issues during his ongoing two-day campaign in the state, he said the ruling Congress should answer questions on its performance.
"I have come here to answer your (Rahul) questions... It is your party's turn to answer because this is an assembly election in a state which your party ruled for five years," Shah said.
He said his party would give an account of every Rupee spent when its five-year tenure ends and the Lok Sabha elections are held in 2019.
He then asked the people whether they had 24-hour electricity, jobs, minimum support price for farmers and especially for sugarcane grown in abundance in Gangavathi, to which the crowd responded in the negative.
Shah then quipped that Siddaramaiah has some 'achievements' to his credit.
"Siddaramaiah has made Karnataka a number one state in farmers' suicides, atrocities on women, unemployment and corruption," he said.
The BJP president also took a jibe at the chief Minister once sporting a Rs 40 lakh watch, saying he had not yet answered where he got it from and who gifted it to him.
Mired in a controversy over the luxury watch gifted to him, Siddaramaiah had on March 2, 2016, handed it over to the Speaker, declaring it a state asset.
Shah said Karnataka had received Rs 88,583 crore grants under the 13th Finance Commission when the UPA government was in power.
"But under the Modi government, the 14th Finance Commission released a grant of Rs 2.2 lakh crore for various development works. Apart from it, another Rs 80,000 crore was given under various schemes," he said and wondered where all this money had gone.
Shah said people had only to compare the lifestyles of any Congress leader five years ago to the present day to see for themselves where the money had gone.
"Those grants fell prey to the prevailing corruption in Karnataka," said Shah.
The BJP leader then dwelt on the various welfare schemes introduced by the Modi government, including Ujjwala scheme, and enhancing of MSP, and urged the people to choose a committed government over a 'commission government'
Modi had described the Congress government in Karnataka as '10 percent commission government'.
Shah, who kick-started yet another round of his election campaign in the state, visited Gavi Siddeshwara Math in Koppal and took the blessings of its seer Abhinava Gavisiddeshwara Swamiji.
He also addressed a public meeting at Kukoor under the Yelburga assembly constituency of Koppal, where he denounced Rahul Gandhi for showing 'disrespect' for the national song "Vande Mataram, "which anchored our freedom movement and for which so many Indians sacrificed their lives".
A controversy erupted tonight after a video purportedly showing Gandhi "disrespecting" national song 'Vande Mataram' at a public rally here surfaced and went viral.
The Congress had dubbed it as a 'fake video'.
It showed Gandhi sitting on the dais with senior Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, and pointing to his watch gesturing something to AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka affairs K C Venugopal, apparently to wrap up quickly.
A person is then heard telling the singer to "just sing a line (of Vande Matram) and finish it off".
As the singer began singing "Vande Mataram", Venugopal is seen nudging Gandhi to stand up.