BJP General Secretary and Karnataka-in-charge Arun Singh said there was nothing special about Bharat Jodo Yatra of Rahul Gandhi except that he was going for ‘morning and evening walk’ with other workers and criticising BJP for the sake of criticising.
Addressing presspersons along with former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and other office bearers in Hubballi on Sunday Mr. Singh said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was not for uniting India but for “uniting D.K. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah.”
Terming speculations that the history of 2013 (when Congress came to power) would make a comeback as baseless, he said while Congress was facing a wave of defeat, the BJP was riding the wave of victory.
Promise of development
The BJP would face the next assembly election in Karnataka on the issue of development and assurance of ‘double-engine sarkar’ and already elaborate preparations were being carried out for the purpose, he said.
Emphasising that it was the BJP government which was actually working for the welfare and development of SC/STs, he said Congress had only done lip-service to the oppressed class and did nothing to give due respect to B.R. Ambedkar. Under the leadership of B.S. Yediyurappa, the party would return to power with 150 seats, he said.
Mr. Singh played down the recent comments of former Union minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal saying the latter was neither a leader of the party nor a member of the BJP core committee. “His behaviour is like that, there is no need to give much importance to his statements,” he said.
Bellad’s remarks reservation
To a query on BJP MLA from Dharwad Arvind Bellad’s remark about removal of reservation for Muslim community and giving the same to Panchamsali and other communities, Mr. Singh expressed disagreement with that opinion. “Such issues will be discussed under mass leadership. He (Bellad) has expressed his opinion. Such important issues will be discussed on the party forum and a decision will be taken,” he said.
Emphasising that BJP’s government was a ‘sab ka sath, sab ka vikas government’, he said there was no question of sidelining senior leaders like former chief minister Jagadish Shettar. “Mr. Shettar is with us and he is a member of the excecutive and election committee of the party,” he said.
Regarding party candidates, he said that BJP was not like other political parties and would take a decision on the party candidates after seeking the opinion of the people.
On the Congress’ charge of “40% commission”, Mr. Singh dismissed it as a political stunt. If at all there was any evidence of receiving or demanding commission, let them complain to the Lokayukta. “The BJP government under Basavaraj Bommai is taking up pro-people initiatives and implementing development programmes. Killings of Hindus, development of PFI, teachers recruitment scam... all these happened during Congress rule,” he said.
Minister for Handloom, Textiles and Sugar, Shankar Patil Munenakoppa, BJP state general secretary Mahesh Tenginakai, district unit president Sanjay Kapatkar and others were present.