Karnataka BJP in-charge and National General Secretary Muralidhar Raospeaks to Siddhartha Rai about political scenario in Karnataka and how the saffron party is addressing several issues ahead of polls
What are the issues that the BJP is fighting ahead of polls in Karnataka?
There are a couple of issues we are addressing. The first issue is the performance of the Siddarmaiah government. It has no achievements to exhibit. People are angry with his rule and the anti-incumbency is extremely high. The government has failed on every front. So we are reaching out to people and communicating with them to show the real face of the Congress government.
The second issue is law and order. Politics has been criminalised in Karnataka. While UP and Bihar saw criminalisation of politics early on under the regime of regional parties, Karnataka witnessed this after Siddaramaiah came to power. There is no difference between Congress and criminals in Karnataka. The two are the same. There is a raging ‘Gunda Raj’, and this image has now stuck to the Congress. Ganja (cannabis) mafia, sand mafia and contractor mafia operate here.
The third issue is that of the radicalisation of the youth of the state. The Siddaramaiah government is nurturing terror outfits. The youth have gone to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. These outfits have networks here and are involved in periodic killings in Karnataka. The Congress government may have problems with the BJP, but they should not have collaborated with terror outfits to kill BJP and RSS members.
The fourth is the farmers issue. This is a state that saw green revolution. Initially, there were no suicides, but now it has come to occupy the top slot. More than 3000 people have committed suicides. Loan waivers were promised but not implemented, and they constantly tried to shift the burden on the Centre. The Mahadayi issue was tackled similarly. They thought shifting it to the Prime Minister will help the Congress, but they got caught and the MSP related bonus also failed.
The fifth issue is that of corruption. For the Congress in Karnataka, corruption is not a single window phenomenon.
What is the BJP doing about the Youth?
The first people to react when a government does not perform well and the first ones to feel the pinch of corruption is the youth. They don’t have vested interests and are closer to ideals. Employment and recruitment problems affect them. Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have implemented no corrective measure or encouraged their CM to invigorate the youth. Rahul Gandhi may be young, but he has failed to present any rosy or dreamy picture. Dynasty and families have dominated here. Not just the Gandhi family, but the jagirdari system is prevalent in all leadership positions.
The BJP is promising and offering the youth chances to connect with PM Modi. We have flagged the Bengaluru issue, too. It has become a crime city, garbage city, mafia city, rape city; even lakes have caught fire due to pollution. Modi ji stands for reviving Bengaluru as it represents the young spirit of Karnataka. He stands for zero tolerance for all these things and the youth know that.
So we are running the Cnage Campaign- Parivartan campaign or Nav-Karnataka Campaign.
What about Rahul Gandhi?
Rahul Gandhi is not a neo-convert to Hinduism, rather an old votary of ‘Vote-ism’. He is completely disconnected from the ground reality. I have never seen a party president speak the way he does. At the plenary meet he was completely illogical. He said the BJP represents the RSS and the Congress represents the nation. We have come to power by popular mandate. So, who does he want to insult? The BJP or the people? The Congress with its 44 seats represents the nation and we with our majority don’t.