BJP president Amit Shah today accused the Congress of dividing the nation and the society as he staged a sit-in at Hubballi near here to protest the recent washout of the Budget Session of Parliament.
Shah, on the sixth round of his campaigning in poll-bound Karnataka, was joined by BJP's chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa, MPs Prahlad Joshi and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and other senior party functionaries.
Terming Parliament as the "temple of democracy" and "biggest panchayat in democracy", he alleged that because of the stand taken by the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha could not function.
Launching a scathing attack on the Congress, he said the logjam in Parliament for 22 days led to a loss of Rs 250 crore.
Usually the government runs away from a debate, but here the opposition was unwilling to discuss important issues, he said.
The BJP chief said the government was ready for a discussion but the opposition ran away from it, because "the Congress did not have the guts to discuss (issues)".
"We said we are ready to discuss the (Punjab National Bank) scam as none of our leaders or ministers was involved in it," he said.
"If the list of your (Congress) leaders involved in scams was to be brought out, the Congress would be empty," Shah said.
He said while running away from discussion, the Congress later got notices of no-confidence motion through smaller parties.
"We said we are ready to even discuss the no-confidence motion (if it was brought), because their no-confidence could not have done anything as the people of this country have confidence in Narendra Modi," he said.
Alleging that the Congress did not believe in democracy, Shah said, "Rahul baba is going around everywhere speaking about democracy. It looks like some NGO has handed over to him the word democracy."
"Rahul baba, go through your party's history," he said, recalling the Emergency under "his grandmother Indira Gandhi".
"You come and preach us about democracy, while you had kept democracy imprisoned inside your home," he said, as he launched a sharp attack on the Congress.
"Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi...., (after that) we don't know which Gandhi next. Doesn't anyone else have credibility in this country," he said.
Shah alleged that there was no internal democracy in the Congress party.
"The Congress cannot protect democracy in this country," he said.
Accusing the Congress of toppling other governments through "conspiracy" whenever it was out of power, he said by hiring a foreign company, "some people had obtained data on castes".
There were protests in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra, also in Karnataka, he said.
He was apparently referring to the violence during the protests in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Conspiracies were being hatched to divide the society along caste and religious lines, he said.
"The Congress by dividing the society and the country on the basis of caste is trying to play its politics," Shah said.
"I want to tell Rahul Gandhi this is not the era of 70s-80s. You have lost your way, this is not 70s or 8os, you have come to 44 (seats in the Lok Sabha), if you continue like this the strength would plummet further," he said.
Asserting that the people clearly understood the Congress and its tactics, Shah listed out the states where BJP has gained after the 2014 parliamentary election win.
"It is Karnataka's turn now. The people of the state have made up their mind to form a BJP government under the leadership of Yeddyurappa (in the May 12 polls)," he said.
Shah told Gandhi that the kind of politics which attempts to divide the society, shut the voice of democracy, and not allow the Houses to function, would not continue for long.
"You may be thinking where will the BJP speak by not allowing the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to function. We have come directly to the people as in democracy the people are supreme. We have come to the people's court," he said.
Stating that the people would teach a lesson to the Congress for following the "politics of divisiveness" by "slitting the throat of democracy," Shah said the first opportunity for it would come in Karnataka.