- Elections in Karnataka are scheduled to be held later this year
- Karnataka is the only southern state where the BJP had been in power
- BJP's goal this time is Mission 150 - winning 150 of the state's 224 seat
"The Siddaramaiah government is doing votebank politics, it is an anti-Hindu government," Mr Shah said at a rally in Chitradurga district as part of the party's Parivarthana Yatra.
As a case in point, he cited the issue of Social Democratic Party of India -- the political arm of the Popular Front of India. "They have withdrawn all cases against SDPI, which is an anti-India organization," BJP chief Amit Shah said. The National Investigation Agency had filed cases against five members of the SDPI for their alleged involvement in the murder of an RSS member in October 2016 in Bengaluru.
The BJP chief said over the last three years, 21 workers of the party and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have been murdered and no investigation has been conducted by the government. "Stop these murders. This government doesn't have long. BJP will be here soon and put those responsible in jail," he added.
Last month, the Parivarthana Yatra -- led by the BJP's state chief BS Yeddyurappa -- witnessed the participation of Yogi Adityanath, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister who is seen as the party's Hindutva mascot. In his address, he had referred to Karnataka as the "land of Hanuman" that was ruled by the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire. It was unfortunate, he had said, that instead of "worshipping Hanuman and Vijayanagar" the Congress was "worshipping Tipu Sultan". The reference was to the government's celebration of the birth anniversary of the 18th Century ruler, against which violent protests have been held.
The BJP's goal this time is Mission 150 - winning 150 of the state's 224 seats. PM Modi's pit-stop at Mangaluru on way to visit the people hit by cyclone Ochki last month, just after the victory in the Gujarat assembly elections, is seen a move to signal the importance of the polls in this southern state for the BJP.
Mr Shah also accused the Siddaramaiah government of corruption and failing to maintain law and order.
The party, though, is seen to be on shaky ground on the issue of corruption. Its term in power, which ended in 2008, was marked by controversy. The party's chief minister, BS Yeddyurappa -- who is also its candidate for the post this time -- had to step down on corruption allegations. There were allegations that his ministers, including mining baron Janardhana Reddy, accumulated thousands of crores of illegal profits.
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