Bengaluru, March 30: That is why they insist, "In Karnataka, speak in Kannada." But unfortunately, a lot of the non-natives, who are staying in various parts of the state, don't know the local Kannada language. And this election season, Karnataka is welcoming a bevvy of leaders, especially Hindi-speaking politicians from North India, advising locals whom to vote and whom not.
In places like Bengaluru, it is fine for politicians to address people in either English or Hindi. However, in rural areas, unless leaders don't address political rallies in local language then the message hardly reaches the public. Thus a lot of politicians are being accompanied by translators during their political rallies in the state, these days.
The incumbent Congress has made it a point that most of the party president Rahul Gandhi's speeches are translated into Kannada. Taking a cue from the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too has started translating the speeches of its leaders. However, on Thursday, the BJP's attempt to please the local people backfired as the party president Amit Shah's speech was wrongly translated by state BJP leader Prahlad Joshi in Challkere of Karnataka's Devanagari district.
"PM Narendra Modi will not do anything for Dalits, poor and the backward classes. He will damage the nation. Please vote for him," Joshi said while translating Shah's Hindi speech.
This is what Shah had actually said: "Siddaramaiah government could not develop Karnataka. You have faith in PM Modi and cast your vote for Yeddyurappa. We will transform Karnataka into the best state in the country."
On Tuesday too, Shah committed a "blunder", rather a slip of the tongue on his part, that left the opposition Congress and social media amused.
Shah called the previous government headed by his party's state unit president BS Yeddyurappa as the most corrupt in the history of Karnataka. Of course, it was a slip of the tongue which was immediately corrected by Yeddyurappa and one more BJP colleague of Shah sitting beside him at a press conference in Davangere.
Actually, Shah wanted to attack incumbent Congress chief minister Siddaramaiah but committed a faux pas. "The government headed by Mr Yeddyurappa was the most corrupt in the history of Karnataka," said Shah.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) March 27, 2018
But again, the damage had been done which left the BJP embarrassed. The biggest casualty in the entire episode, which to a layman was also hilarious as Shah himself admitted the "truth", was none other than Yeddyurappa, the party's chief ministerial candidate in the state.
In order to clear their minds, probably, Shah and his team members need some rest as they have been relentlessly campaigning for the polls in the state. On Tuesday, the Election Commission (EC) announced the polling and counting dates for the Karnataka Assembly elections. While polling will take place on May 12, the counting of votes will take place on May 15.