Amit Shah holding road show in Bangalore Rural as BJP-JD(S) workers are not united there: Shivakumar

PTI, Mar 31, 2024, 3:15 PM IST

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Sunday said Union Home Minister Amit Shah is holding a roadshow at Channapatna in the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha segment, as workers of BJP and JD(S), who are fighting the polls in alliance, are not united there.

Shivakumar’s brother and sitting MP D K Suresh is the Congress candidate in Bangalore Rural, while the BJP has fielded noted cardiologist Dr C N Manjunath, who is the son-in-law of JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, on its ticket.

Shah will kick off his campaign in Karnataka on April 2. He is scheduled to hold a roadshow at Channapatna in the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha segment.

”Why they have selected Channapatna is because BJP and JD(S) are not united there, their workers are not united there. BJP and JD(S) workers who have fought each other day in and out, and even during local body polls, are not working together. So, Amit Shah is starting his campaign from there,” Shivakumar said.

Addressing reporters here, he said JD(S) workers are also in a state of confusion in the Bangalore Rural segment, and people there know well about D K Suresh and Shivakumar.

”They (BJP-JDS) want to show their strength and that they are united by bringing Amit Shah there. Why didn’t they hold both parties’ joint workers’ meetings till now? Just because the leaders have come together will the workers come together?” he asked, as he expressed confidence about his brother’s win from the segment once again.

Suresh was the only Congress candidate who had won the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 when the party was in alliance with JD(S). While the regional party had won one seat, the BJP almost swept the polls then by winning 25 seats. The saffron party had also ensured that an independent candidate supported by it won.

Noting that he felt strange looking at the political developments in Ramanagara and Mandya districts, Shivakumar pointed out that BJP and JD(S) leaders, who had attacked each other in the past, have now come together.

”Kumaraswamy is now going to the doors of everyone (BJP leaders), so much change in him. Those who dislodged his government (Congress-JD(S) coalition government) or who laid foundation for its collapse — (BJP leaders) Yediyurappa, Ashoka, Ashwath Narayan — he (Kumaraswamy) is now embracing them, people will have to decide,” he added.

Responding to a question on Kumaraswamy reportedly accusing him of backstabbing and ”politically poisoning” the JD(S), Shivakumar asked the JD(S) state President to say it before the people.

”Congress party had made him (Kumaraswamy) who had only 38 MLAs as the Chief Minister of Karnataka (in 2018), is that poison? Amid rains and in the scorching heat I fought for the stability of his government, is that poison? My conscience, the Shakti that I believe in, and the workers of JD(S) are aware as to what I did. I don’t mind if he (Kumaraswamy) doesn’t remember it,” he said.

The state Congress chief also condemned veteran party leader and MLA Shamanur Shivashankarappa’s alleged sexist remark on the BJP’s candidate from the Davnagere constituency Gayathri Siddeshwara, saying she is only ”fit to cook”.

”Congress and I believe in the fact that a woman is the eye of a family. He (Shivashankarappa) is aged and might have spoken something with some calculation, but we are committed to the cause of women. We have given tickets to six women candidates including Shivashankarappa’s daughter-in-law, for the first time in the history of Karnataka Congress for Lok Sabha polls. We have introduced programmes keeping women in mind,” he added.

To another question, Shivakumar claimed that surveys of several channels have said that NDA will not emerge victorious in Karnataka in the Lok Sabha polls.

”The candidate, programmes we have given and the unity that we have shown, you cannot match in the country,” he added. Asked about former Minister and BJP leader in Channapatna C P Yogeshwara’s daughter Nisha Yogeshwara joining the Congress, Shivakumar said, she had come to meet him, and he has all sympathies for her, ”but, I don’t want the bad name of separating father and daughter for the sake of politics…I will speak to party leaders and workers, if she is insistent on working for Congress.” He also said that Yogeshwara seems to be ”dreaming” about his future prospects in the Channapatna constituency, because of the BJP-JD(S) alliance, ”but, he is not aware as to what will happen to him and his supporters there, as he lacks experience.”

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