Politics News

‘They Will Take Advantage’: Karnataka Congress Does It Again, Latest Faux Pas Involves Sardar Patel, ‘Fear’ of BJP

It’s a political gaffe that will ensure the BJP has the last laugh, exactly what the Karnataka Congress was trying to avert.

In a video of an exchange between ex-chief minister Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, the former can be heard asking about the absence of a portrait of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the country’s first Deputy Prime Minister, who was born on the same day Indira Gandhi was assassinated, although over a century earlier.

When told “we never keep the photo (of Sardar Patel)”, Siddaramaiah expresses concern about criticism from BJP. Shivakumar then asks his staff to put up a portrait of Sardar Patel too.

“Today it is his (Sardar Patel) birth anniversary,” Siddaramaiah says in Kannada as he leans over to ask the Karnataka Congress chief, “There is no portrait of him?” Shivakumar then says: “Sir, yes… it is his birthday today also… but we never keep the photo.”

“But what happens with BJP (is) they will take advantage,” Siddaramaiah says in English. “Like we have not seen them (do it)… (turns to a staff member) Do you have a photo of Vallabhai Patel? Get it…” Shivakumar then says. “We will keep the photo,” he tells Siddaramaiah, to which he responds: “Yes… it will be better.”

News18 could not independently verify the authenticity of the video shared by news agency ANI which credited BJP MLA and former minister MP Renukacharya as the source.

This is not the first time Congress leaders have been caught on the back foot in Karnataka. Last month, the Karnataka Congress was left red-faced after a live mic caught its two leaders discussing alleged corruption by Shivakumar.

The Congress responded by expelling one leader for six years and sending the other a show-cause notice; the latter leader, former MP VS Ugrappa, later offered a clarification.

The Sardar Patel video has drawn criticism from the BJP, with National General Secretary CT Ravi tweeting: “It is a shame that slaves are so much scared of an Italian” in a reference to opposition party chief Sonia Gandhi.

“If anyone had doubt how much the Nehru Dynasty hated Sardar Patel, this video clears it. Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar agree to place photo of Sardar Patel along with that of Indira Gandhi fearing BJP,” he tweeted along with the video.

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