Bengaluru: BJP chief Amit Shah today left his Chief Ministerial candidate in Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa, embarrassed with a slip of tongue, and quickly corrected himself. But that didn’t check the rapid circulation of the video clip on social media, mostly by Congress supporters.
While rattling off allegations against Karnataka’s Congress government led by Mr Siddaramaiah at a meeting in Karnataka’s Davanagere, Amit Shah said, “Recently a retired Supreme Court judge said if there was ever a competition of the most corrupt government then the Yeddyurappa government is number one…” Mr Yeddyurappa was sitting next to him.
Another leader was seen quietly whispering into his ear. Mr Shah immediately corrected himself. Within seconds, the Congress went on overdrive, tweeting and retweeting the video.
Mr Yeddyurappa – who was chief minister of the first BJP government in Karnataka from 2008 — was forced to step down in August 2011 amid corruption allegations by Karnataka’s ombudsman or Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde. He was accused of colluding in illegal iron-ore mining in the mineral-rich district of Bellary. In 2016, he was acquitted in case, where he was accused of accepting kickbacks worth Rs 40 crores.
The BJP has named the 75-year-old, who commands a strong support among the Lingayat community, as its Chief Ministerial candidate ahead of the elections – a rare move by a party that usually contests elections without one.
The BJP chief predicts a “tsunami” of support for the party in Karnataka.