Bagalkote (K'taka): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said development in Karnataka will be in “reverse gear” if the Congress comes to power in the southern state.
Dynastic politics will be at an all-time high in the state and it will be "afflicted with riots" if the Congress forms government, said Shah.
Addressing a public meeting at Terdal in Belagavi district, the former BJP chief sought the people's mandate for "political stability" in Karnataka, which goes to the polls on May 10. Shah said only BJP can lead the state towards 'New Karnataka'.
"If Congress comes to power by mistake then corruption will be at an all-time high and there will be 'appeasement'," said Shah, who is on a two-day tour of Karnataka to hold a series of public meetings, roadshows and review meetings with his party leaders.
One of the party's key poll strategists and campaigners, Shah said the Congress will not benefit anyway from BJP's two major leaders -- former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and former deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi -- who recently joined the Mallikarjun Kharge-led party.
"Congress has always insulted the Lingayat community because, in its long rule in the state, it could give only two Lingayat Chief Ministers – S Nijalingappa and Veerendra Patil – and both were humiliated and sacked from the party," the senior BJP leader said.
Seeking votes on the basis of those leaders who came from BJP showed how bankrupt the Congress is, Shah asserted.
He said the Congress aligned with the JD(S) to unseat then Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. "After unseating Yediyurappa using the JD(S), you want to move forward with the help of some of our leaders but the people of Karnataka, especially those from the 'Kittur Karnataka' region in the northern part of the state, will not tolerate it," he said.
Accusing the Congress of not bothering to implement the Kalasa Banduri water project in north Karnataka despite being in power at the Centre, in Karnataka and Goa, Shah charged that the national party in 60 years of its rule could not do even 10 per cent of what the BJP has done in nine years.
He pointed out that the 'double-engine' BJP government in the state gave revenue village status to the hamlets of the nomadic tribe Lambani and the settlements of shepherds, Kuruba Hatti'.
The minister said the Congress is not coming out of the "internal fight" between former CM Siddaramaiah and Congress state president D K Shivakumar on who should be the Chief Minister (in the event of the party coming to power). "Why fight unnecessarily when both of them are not going to become chief minister? Your number is not even there because the next Chief Minister will be from the BJP," Shah said.
He appealed to the people not to vote for the JD(S) as "every vote to them will eventually go to the Congress". "If people don't want Congress, then they should vote for the BJP directly so that the state can be taken forward".
Speaking about the murder of some BJP workers in coastal Karnataka including that of party office-bearer Praveen Nettar, Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned the Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).
(With PTI inputs)