“Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah finally spoke the truth today” – this was the message the Congress and several social media users shared on Tuesday in response to Shah’s faux pas at a press conference in Karnataka’s Davanagere district.
“If there was a competition in corruption, the Yeddyurappa government would get the No. 1 award,” Shah said, referring to former Karnataka chief minister and state BJP President BS Yeddyurappa.
Yeddyurappa was sitting on Shah’s right when he made the statement. In a video of the speech, Yeddyurappa can be seen leaning in to correct the party chief as a BJP leader seated on Shah’s left does the same. Shah then corrected himself and said, “Siddaramaiah would come first in a competition for the most corrupt government.”
But, the rejoinders to his mistake came immediately.
“Who knew @AmitShah could also speak the truth – we all concur with you Amit ji. @BSYBJP is the most corrupt!” said Karnataka Congress member Divya Spananda. She shared another video of the BJP president, saying this was not the first time Shah had made such a remark about Yeddyurappa. “BTW – what exactly are Amit Shah’s feelings towards Yeddyurappa? All’s not good in the hood,” she tweeted.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said: “The #ShahOfLies finally speaks the truth. Thank you @AmitShah.”
The state unit of the Congress tweeted: “The Truth can never be Suppressed. Even Amit Shah agrees that Yeddyurappa led the most corrupt government ever. #BJP420”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the BJP president had gifted his party a “top secret campaign video”. “Our campaign in Karnataka is off to a fabulous start,” he said on Twitter. “He says Yeddyurappa ran the most corrupt Govt ever...True.”
After the press conference, Yeddyurappa, who is the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for the Karnataka Assembly elections on May 12, said Shah’s statement was nothing more than a slip of the tongue. “Siddaramaiah is stupid,” he told The Times of India. “Let him count the number of times he has done the gaffe of abusing his own government.”
The Congress was not alone in ridiculing Shah and the BJP after Shah’s faux pas. “Among his 100 lies, one truth costs Amit Shah heavily,” one Twitter user said. Another said it was now time to watch “how the BJP IT Cell covers up this mess”.
Responding to Gandhi, a Twitter user said both Shah and BJP leader Amit Malviya “are doing wonders right from the beginning and formal start of the Karnataka elections”. He was referring to the BJP IT Cell chief, who had tweeted the dates of the Assembly elections before they were officially announced.