BENGALURU: With exit polls predicting a win for the BJP in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday exuded confidence of the party returning to power in Karnataka in 2023.
Addressing a gathering during the BJP’s Jana Sankalpa Yatra at Koratagere in Tumakuru district, Bommai said there is a pro-BJP wave in Karnataka owing to his government’s policies, including the recent hike in SC/ST quota.
He said the Congress will disappear in the “tsunami” of the BJP which will sweep the 2023 Assembly polls. Taking a dig at the Congress government led by Siddaramaiah between 2013 and 2018, Bommai said there was rampant corruption during the CLP leader’s rule. “There was corruption in Arkavathy Layout denotification, in procuring pillows and beds for government hostels, in drilling of borewells for SCs/STs...,” he added. “Siddaramaiah even weakened the Lokayukta and set up the Anti-Corruption Bureau to cover up cases against him and 50 others. But in the coming days, we will reopen such cases in which B report has been filed,” he said.
He accused Siddaramaiah of leaving behind a debt of Rs 2 lakh crore on successive governments. “Their government did nothing with the loan they availed. Most of the irrigation projects that are being implemented now were funded by the BJP. Also, rice under Anna Bhagya scheme was diverted to black market during the Congress regime,” he alleged.
Bommai questioned why Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Siddaramaiah did not dare to hike the SC/ST quota. “None of the previous governments had shown the courage to hike the quota... but I did it... I hope you all will back me,” Bommai said after being felicitated by BJP SC/ST leaders.
Slamming Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after he said that BJP and RSS were ignoring the invocation ‘Jai Siyaram’, Bommai said, “He (Rahul) has no simple understanding that the word Rama has Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman incorporated in it.”
“The choice is yours (voters)... you have to decide if you want to go with Sonia mata ki jai of the Congress or BJP’s Bharat mata ki jai,” Bommai added. Bommai said senior Congress leader and former deputy CM Dr G Parameshwara has enemies within the Congress who are determined to defeat him.
On party’s candidate from Kunigal, Bommai promised to help both former MP Muddahanumegowda, who recently quit the Congress to join the BJP, and Krishna Kumar, who has lost three times. He hinted at fielding Krishna Kumar in 2023 polls and Muddahanumegowda from Bengaluru Rural in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
BSY SKIPS YATRA
Former CM B S Yediyurappa’s absence was conspicuous at the yatra on Wednesday. “He had a scheduled programme for the day and hence could not make it. But he had attended all the yatras in the past,” CM Bommai clarified.
Bommai hints at state govt taking back Kunigal stud farm
CM Basavaraj Bommai hinted at the government taking back the stud farm at Kunigal run by United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders (URBB) of Vijay Mallya as the lease period with the government
will come to an end on December 31. “After holding deliberations with local leaders, a government subsidiary will be established,” he said.