New Delhi: Expressing confidence that BJP will come to power in Karnataka with a full majority, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that state and central governments have together worked for the development of the state and there were several infrastructure projects in the pipeline which will be completed in the next five years.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Amit Shah also hit out at the Congress and said whenever it has used “poisonous language” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has faced defeat.
He said the people of Karnataka will reply to the abuses hurled at PM Modi.
Shah said PM Modi has enormous popularity which is translating into votes and the party has even more support compared to the last election.
“I have travelled to all parts of Karnataka. The enthusiasm, inclination, and support for BJP in all areas. There is enthusiasm to form a BJP government. PM Modi’s popularity is tremendous which is getting converted into votes. It is clear that BJP is forming the government with full majority,” Shah said.
Asked about the falling level of discourse in the campaign during elections, Shah said this should not happen.
“Whenever Congress has used poisonous language against PM Modi, they have had to face defeat. In Karnataka also, people will give them a befitting reply,” Shah said.
He said Congress had given four per cent reservation to the minority community as part of its “appeasement politics”.
Shah slammed Congress over its promise to restore quota for Muslims in Karnataka and talked of an increase in quota to six percent and said that the party should make it clear if it will slash the quota of SCs, STs, Lingayats or Vokkaligas.
Shah said Siddaramaiah should clarify that if Congress increases the reservation for Muslims from 4 percent to 6 percent, then whose reservation it will cut-down.
He said the Congress leader should make the party’s stand clear before the campaign for Karnataka polls ends on Monday.
“Reservation within reservation done with a lot of thought...Before the end of campaigning for Karnataka elections, Siddaramaiah must clarify that if Congress increases the reservation for Muslims from 4 per cent to 6 per cent, whose reservation would they decrease - OBCs, or SCs or STs or Lingayats, or Vokkaligas?” Shah asked.
The Karnataka government decided to scrap the four per cent quota for minorities in March this year and add it to the existing quota of two dominant communities of the poll-bound state.
The BJP-led government scrapped the four per cent OBC reservation for Muslims and distributed it Veerashaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas. It also decided to move OBC Muslims to the 10 per cent Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category.
Congress, in its election manifesto, has promised to restore the 4 per cent Muslim reservation being given by the Congress government which was scrapped by the Basavaraj Bommai government ahead of the elections.
He said the double-engine governments in the state and Centre have provided various benefits to the people over the last four years and development benefits have reached all parts of the state irrespective of the region.
He said over 50 lakh families in the state have benefitted from welfare measures for the poor.
Citing the example of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidihi, he said Siddaramaiah, when Shah was chief minister had sent only 17 names to the Centre as he feared that the popularity of PM Modi will rise.
He said the Yediyurappa government sent names of 54 lakh beneficiaries and Rs 15,000 crore has been provided to farmers under the scheme.
“I want to urge the people of Karnataka, the BJP has extended all benefits of the double-engine government to the people. Nearly 50 lakh people have benefitted from the poor welfare schemes of the Modi government. I urge the voters of Karnataka to have faith in the leadership of PM Modi and BJP will build a prosperous and safe state,” he said.
Polling will be held for assembly polls in Karnataka on May 10 and counting of votes will take place on May 13.