BS Yeddyurappa, BJP’s chief ministerial face in Karnataka for 12 May assembly polls, has courted a fresh controversy after urging his supporters to tie up people’s hands and legs and make them vote for the saffron party.
“Don’t rest now. If you think that somebody isn’t voting, go to their homes, tie up their hands and legs and bring them to vote in favour of Mahantesh Doddagoudar (BJP candidate from Kittur),” Yeddyurappa was quoted by ANI.
The Congress, which is fighting hard to retain its government in Karnataka, was quick to launch a tirade on Yeddyurappa’s comments. The party’s chief spokesperson, Randeep Surjewala, said, “A defeatist BJP facing rejection at the hands of Kannadigas is threatening voters in frustration. Mr Yeddyurappa, insulting democracy and intimidating voters will trounce the BJP decisively.”
Yeddyurappa’s sensational speech urging supporters to resort to criminal act evoked instant reactions with many even calling the former Karnataka chief minister a ‘goon.’ Journalist Rohini Singh asked, “Is he a goon or a CM candidate?” Twitter user Gagan Nagra concluded, “Here BJP has shown its real face. They are goons and now goons are openly threatening.”
Another user Jairaj P reminded Yeddyurappa’s time in jail, where he spent considerable length of time for corruption. He wrote, “Voting is a Right & a Duty, but this… Tie hands & Legs & Force to Vote for BJP… Desperation of Jail-Bird Yeddyurappa and Goon Culture of BJP on display.”
There were many, who felt that Yeddyurappa’s latest comments urging his supporters to indulge in unlawful acts smacked of his desperation in the ongoing campaign. The BJP has had to face a series of setbacks in the last few days. First, BJP President Amit Shah struggled with his translators, who continued to cause embarrassment for him and the saffron party with awful translations of the former’s speech during his rallies last week.
Then Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced social media roasting after he was caught lying. This also coincided with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s controversial trip to Karnataka amidst 90 people being killed in rain and storm in his home state. Faced with widespread criticism, Adityanath was forced to cut short his trip and return to Uttar Pradesh.
Here are some more reactions from Twitter, where hashtag #BJPThreatensVoters has become a trending topic.
This statement by the corrupt jailed yeddyurappa is a threat! Is this for bjp wants to get votes?#BJPThreatensVoters
Tie up peoples' hands and legs, bring them to vote for BJP: Yeddyurappa – Times of India https://t.co/zsOuF2tcP0 via @timesofindia
— KilaFateh #INC (@KilaFateh) May 5, 2018
Constantly harming democracy, harming institutions, harming true Indian culture, and now, they threaten to harm voters. BJP is nothing but a party of Anti Nationals! #BJPThreatensVoters
— Hasiba (@HasibaAmin) May 5, 2018
— Sushmita Dev (@sushmitadevmp) May 5, 2018
Most wanted people under the expert guidance of tadipar at work
— Radha Charan Das (@radhacharandas) May 5, 2018
The BJP cannot come up with constructive strategies no matter how hard they try. Here, you have the BJP CM candidate suggesting the option of kidnapping those who don't go out to vote. #BJPthreatensVoters pic.twitter.com/GNqMjzyUjN
— Unknown Indian (@KingOfJumla) May 5, 2018