Amit Shah | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Savadatti (K'taka): Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah on Saturday accused the Congress of functioning on the banned Popular Front of India's (PFI) agenda, as he urged the people of Karnataka not to vote for the opposition party in Assembly polls next week.
Alleging that Congress indulges in appeasement politics, he claimed that it has insulted Lord Hanuman, along with freedom fighter and Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar.
"Congress party for the sake of vote bank indulges in appeasement politics. First, they gave four per cent Muslim reservation, despite knowing that our Constitution doesn't provide for reservation based on religion. BJP has scrapped this unconstitutional Muslim reservation and increased quota for Lingayats and Vokkaligas by two per cent each," Shah said.
Addressing a public meeting here in Belagavi district, he said Congress promises that in case the party comes to power, they would bring back Muslim reservation and take it up to six per cent instead of four per cent.
"From where will you (Congress) get it, whose (quota) will you reduce? Will you reduce the quota of Lingayats or Vokkaligas or SC/STs, clarify it. Congress people listen with open ears, you will neither form the government, nor Lingayats reservation will get reduced. Only the BJP government will come," he added.
Recalling that the BJP government outlawed PFI last year, the Home Minister claimed Congress says that on coming to power they would take back the ban on the Islamist outfit. "We don't indulge in vote bank politics, whoever does anti-national work will go behind bars".
Pointing out that PFI had placed two demands, he further said one is to increase the minority budget to Rs 10,000 crore, and the Congress "silently" in its manifesto has promised to increase the quantum to Rs 10,000 crore.
Also, PFI had asked for reservation to minorities, and Congress said it will give six per cent reservation instead of four per cent earlier, he said. "Congress is functioning on PFI's agenda, never vote for Congress."
Accusing Congress of keeping Lord Ram "under lock" by not allowing the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya for 70 years, Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on coming to power laid the foundation for building the structure at the site.
The Congress, in its manifesto, has also insulted 'Bajrangbali' (Lord Hanuman), he said, adding "they don't stop there".
"One senior Congress leader asked what is the birth date of Bajrangbali, do you have his birth certificate? Whole country knows his birth date. It's on Hanuman Jayanti Poornima. You (Congress) don't know as you only remember appeasement."
Hitting out at the Congress for "insulting" Savarkar, the BJP leader said: "They don't know history. Rahul baba (Rahul Gandhi), you insult Savarkar. Even if you live for 10 janams (births), you cannot make one-tenth of the sacrifices that Savarkar made."
He said BJP has installed Savarkar's portrait at the Assembly hall in Belagavi's Suvarna Vidhana Soudha.
Stating that during his travel across the state for campaigning, he has seen the situation in Karnataka, the Home Minister said, BJP will form a majority government in Karnataka.
Appealing to the people of Karnataka to ensure that BJP gets full majority, he said: "Under Modi's leadership, the BJP will make north Karnataka the most developed region of the state....give all the 18 seats in Belagavi district to BJP in this election."
Noting that the Congress despite having governments in Karnataka, Goa and at the Centre in the past did not resolve the inter-state Mahadayi river water dispute, Shah said in 2007, top Congress leader Sonia Gandhi had said in Goa that Mahadayi water will not be given to Karnataka.
"Sonia ji, you left and your government too left. Modi ji came (to power) and the issue has been resolved and Mahadayi water is coming to northern districts of Karnataka," he pointed out, as he accused the Congress of using "lathis and bullets" against farmers.
Taking a dig at Congress' poll guarantees, Shah said similar promises were made by Congress in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland, and the party was "wiped out" there.
"Rahul baba, no one believes your guarantees. Those who don't have respect, no one trusts their guarantees," he claimed.
Pointing that Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge had called PM Modi a "venomous snake", Shah said it shows the party's "level", and the time has come for the people of Karnataka to teach them a lesson.
The ruling BJP is locked in a tussle with the opposition Congress with less than a week to go for polls in the state. Voting is on May 10 and the results will be declared on May 13.