Hubballi: In his first reaction to former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar quitting the BJP and joining the Congress after being denied a ticket for the May 10 Assembly elections, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday April 24 that Shettar’s exit will not cause any loss to the party.
Speaking to reporters here, Shah maintained that ticket was not denied to Shettar alone, as many others have been denied the same.
“We had informed him why he was denied a ticket. The reason can’t be discussed with the media,” he said.
“We will convince the voters in such a way that they will understand. The BJP has a vote bank in the Hubballi-Dharwad Central reagion. The individual is not important, it is the party that is important. Jagadish Shettar is going to lose the elections,” he said.
Reacting to Shettar’s charges against the BJP, Shah asked who controlled the party when he was the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister? Everything is the same as before, he said.
Speaking on the charges that Lingayat leadership is being snubbed in the BJP, Shah maintained that after taking power from one Lingayat candidate, another Lingayat nominee is given power. The leadership is not given to members from other communities, he said.
“The tickets have been given to Lingayat candidates wherever they have been denied. Congress had insulted two Lingayat CMs. It has no moral ground to say that the BJP has done injustice to the Lingayats. The BJP respects all the communities,” he said.
Talking about JD(S), Shah said that former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is the permanent President of the party, but in the BJP, the presidents, CMs and office-bearers keep changing.
When asked about the Mhadei river water dispute with Goa, Shah maintained that the Congress should have resolved the issue, but it didn’t so.
“When water was demanded, the Congress opened fire on people. The Congress has insulted the Kittur Karnataka region. But the BJP gave justice to all. The projects in Krishna and Upper Bhadra were given priority. The Kerur lift irrigation project is also considered seriously. The railway project in Dharwad-Belgavi will also start,” Shah said.
When asked about no tickets given to Muslims, Shah claimed that the tickets have been allotted on the criterion of winning. No such thing as minority or majority was considered while distributing tickets, he said.