Bengaluru, March 27 (IANS) In an embarrassing goof-up in poll-bound Karnataka, BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday said the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa ran the most corrupt government in the country.
“Recently, a retired Supreme Court judge said if there was ever a competition for the most corrupt government, then the Yeddyurappa government is number one,” Shah told the media with Yeddyurappa sitting next to him.
The former Chief Minister, who was rattled, leaned over to Shah in a bid to correct him. Another BJP leader nudged the party President to make him realize that he had made a blunder.
Shah corrected himself, went on a damage control and said he meant that Congress government of Chief Minister “Siddaramaiah would come first in a competition for the most corrupt government”.
Shah said the BJP government at the Centre had done a lot to develop Karnataka.
“Siddaramaiah asks what has the Modi government done for Karnataka. I would like to remind that when there was the 13th Finance Commission during UPA regime, funds worth Rs 88,583 core were allocated for the state of Karnataka.
“But when the 14th finance commission was implemented after the BJP came to power at the Centre, funds for Karnataka were increased to Rs 2,19,506 crore.”
But by this time the damage was done. Congress leaders latched on to it and had a field day on social media networks.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Now that the BJP IT cell has announced Karnataka elections, time for a sneak preview of our top secret campaign video!
“Gifted to us by the BJP President, our campaign in Karnataka is off to a fabulous start. He says Yeddyurappa ran the most corrupt Government ever,” Gandhi said, posting a clip of Shah’s faux pas.
Siddaramaiah also tweeted to Shah that the “#ShahOfLies finally speaks truth. Thank you @AmitShah”.
“Who knew Amit Shah could also speak the truth – We all concur with you Amitji BSY-BJP is the most corrupt,” tweeted Divya Spandana of the Karnataka unit of the Congress.
Spandana posted an undated clip of Shah in which he is heard saying that “Yeddyurappa says the BJP doesn’t help with the development of Karnataka”.
Yeddyurappa was the chief minister of the first BJP government in Karnataka from 2008. He was forced to step down in 2011 following corruption allegations by Karnataka’s Lokayukta Santosh Hegde. But he was acquitted in 2016.