The state had seen both the Congress and JD(S) rule. While Karnataka became an ATM for Delhi under the Congress rule, it became an ATM for one family under the JD(S) regime, he said, accusing both parties of derailing the state’s development.
Shah was addressing a BJP rally in Mandya in the presence of chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, union minister Pralhad Joshi and other party leaders.
Karnataka is due for assembly polls in about four months and the two neighbouring districts in sugar belt together have 18 assembly seats, while the party has just three MLAs. A political party needs 113 seats to form the government in the 224-member assembly.
In fact, the JD(S) turned in such an impressive show in the 2018 assembly election that it won all seven seats in a show of popularity for its leaders HD Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy. It was only in the bypolls in December 2019, the BJP created history by winning one seat after a sitting JD(S) MLA switched to the BJP.
Shah inaugurated a modern dairy plant in Mandya before addressing the rally. He reeled off figures of the funds spent by the Bommai regime for the development of the region and mentioned about the revival of the local sugar factory, support given to sugarcane growers, rail infrastructure and the modern expressway project between Mysuru and Bengaluru while appealing for votes.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Karnataka gave the BJP 25 MPs with a vote share of about 52%, the BJP leader said, urging voters to show a similar support in the assembly polls too and strengthen prime minister Narendra Modi’s hands.
The Congress also had criminal elements in its ranks, Shah said, and added it promoted terror organizations like the PFI. When Siddaramaiah was the chief minister, he withdrew cases against PFI men, but it was the BJP government which outlawed the organization.