Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday, 26 March, defended the BJP-led-Karnataka government’s decision on taking away four percent reservation from minorities and distributing it among the influential Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, at Gorata village in Bidar.
Addressing a public gathering after inaugurating the Gorata Martyrs’ Memorial and a statue of the country’s first home minister — the late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — at Gorata village. he said: “Reservation provided to the minorities was not as per Constitution.”
Shah added: “There is no provision in the Constitution to provide reservation on the basis of religion. The Congress government, because of its vote bank politics, provided quota for the minorities.”
It was under the HD Deve Gowda government in the state that the quota was institutionalised, he said.
“The BJP government in Karnataka scrapped reservation and distributed it equally among Vokkaligas and Lingayat communities. The BJP never believed in appeasement. So, it decided to change the reservation,” said Shah.
He was the first Central government leader from the BJP to defend the Bommai government’s decision to scrap reservations for religious minorities in Karnataka.
On 24 March, the Bommai government in its last Cabinet meeting announced that it was taking away the four percent reservation for religious minorities and distributing it as two percent each to Vokkaligas and Panchamasalis under the 2C and 2D categories.
The Opposition parties, including the Congress, condemned the government’s move.
Also read: Karnataka decides to remove 4% reservation for Muslims
Shah hits out at Congress, BRS
Union Minister Shah hit out at the Congress and the BRS in Telangana for not remembering the people who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Hyderabad and for hesitating to celebrate Hyderabad Liberation Day, which is annually observed on 17 September.
Shah alleged: “It (Congress) never remembered those who fought and sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Hyderabad from the brutal Nizam rule.”
“The Telangana government is hesitating to celebrate the Hyderabad Liberation Day, but the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to celebrate the day in a grand manner,” Shah slammed K Chandrashekar Rao-led Telangana government.
Shah recalls Gorata massacre
After inaugurating the Gorata Martyrs’ Memorial and statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shah also hoisted a 103-feet tall national flag at Gorata, called “Jallianwala Bagh of South India”.
Recalling the horror of Gorata, the Union Minister said: “Around 200 people were massacred by the brutal Nizam even though the country had become independent, on 9 May, 1948”.
Honoured to inaugurate the Gorata Martyrs’ Memorial in Bidar, Karnataka, the foundation of which I laid eight years ago.
In 1948, the Nizam of Hyderabad massacred hundreds of people for hoisting the Indian flag.
This memorial will immortalize their sacrifice and inspire people. pic.twitter.com/ovAd927j1l
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 26, 2023
“It was the most important day for an emotional person like him (Patel), because on that day the ruthless army of Nizam butchered hundreds of people for hoisting a 2.5-feet tricolour. Today, I can proudly proclaim that I have hoisted the 103-feet tricolour, which no one can ever reach,” reiterated Shah, during his visit to the poll-bound Karnataka, where the elections are due by May.
He further said: “Eight years ago, I had visited the place as the BJP national president and laid the foundation for the Gorata Martyr’s Memorial with a direction to the BJP Yuva Morcha workers to build a memorial that should be remembered throughout the country for hundreds of years.”
“I am pleased that eight years later, I have got the opportunity to inaugurate it,” said Shah.
Paying homage to Patel, he said: “Had there not been Patel, Hyderabad would not have been liberated”.
Gorata memorial to be tourist spot: Shah
Appealing to the people to give full majority to BJP in Karnataka, Shah said: “If BJP government comes back to power, we can build a grand martyrs’ memorial at Gorata at a cost of ₹50 crore.”
“This will attract tourists not only from Karnataka but also from across the country who will be told about the story of the people of Gorata. This will be developed as a tourist place in the coming days,” assured Shah.
“Once the BJP government returns to power in Karnataka and the grand memorial is built, the party would celebrate the next Hyderabad Liberation Day at Gorata,” added Shah.
Related: Congress looking to make Karnataka its ATM: Amit Shah
“BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government had renamed the erstwhile Hyderabad-Karnataka region as Kalyana Karnataka. Because the Hyderabad Nizam ruled the region, it was called Hyderabad-Karnataka region. It is the Congress which allowed the symbols of India’s slavery to continue here,” Shah contended.
“The Yediyurappa government had also given ₹3,000 crore for the Kalyana Karnataka region while Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai allocated ₹5,000 crore,” Shah said.
Shah lays foundation stone for projects ₹4,238 crore
On his one-day visit to poll-bound Karnataka, Union Home Minister Shah laid the foundation stone for over 200 projects worth ₹4,238 crores at Gabbur village near Devadurga at Raichur on Sunday.
While addressing the gathering, Shah: “The Congress government neglected the region during its tenure. After the BJP came to power, it has carried out numerous development works across Kalyana Karnataka.”
“We have given prominence to all the major irrigation projects under Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd. Even the Congress and JD(S)-led-coalition government was least concerned about the development of this region. I appeal to everyone to give a majority to BJP to carry out more works in this area,” Shah said.
The Union home minister also unveiled the statues of 12th century social reformer Basavanna and Nadaprabhu Kempegowda in front of Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on the evening of Sunday.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra and other leaders of the party accompanied the Union home minister.
(With inputs from PTI)