“I may have made a mistake, but the voters will not.”
Very few politicians in India have the confidence to say this after committing a mistake that could jeopardize their electoral ambitions. But that’s BJP president Amit Shah for you. Not only has he made up for the recent bloopers he committed in the runup to the assembly elections in Karnataka, but has also given the opposition a clear and crisp warning: Don’t even try!
It hasn’t been all sweet for the charismatic politician in the past few weeks. Hardly had the BJP tasted victory in Tripura and formed coalition governments in Meghalaya and Nagaland, that they suffered a setback by losing the parliamentary by-polls of Gorakhpur and Phulpur. These were the former seats of the incumbent chief minister and deputy chief minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya respectively. This lifted the sagging spirits of the opposition, and they were back to what they’re best at doing: not letting either the government or the nation live peacefully.
In such a chaotic environment, two bloopers during the rallies before the Karnataka elections added further salt to the wounds of BJP, as stated below:
1.) Blooper 1: In a press conference following the announcement of the dates for the Karnataka elections, Amit Shah substituted the name of Siddaramaiah with his own candidate, B.S. Yedyurappa, while talking about who was the most corrupt politician.
2.) Blooper 2: In a rally following this mistake, Amit Shah had an embarrassing moment, when instead of castigating Congress, he remarked ‘that BJP under PM Modi will destroy the nation’. Unlike the previous incident, he wasn’t entirely at fault, since he was speaking from a text handout, translated in Kannada in order to connect with the masses.
This was more than enough for the opposition, who took jibes at Amit Shah for his slip of tongue. Leading the team was the goof master himself, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who tweeted the following:
Now that the BJP IT cell has announced Karnataka elections, time for a sneak preview of our top secret campaign video!
Gifted to us by the BJP President, our campaign in Karnataka is off to a fabulous start. He says Yeddyurappa ran the most corrupt Govt ever…
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 27, 2018
Not too far behind their master were the usual suspects:
— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) March 27, 2018
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) March 27, 2018
A slip of tongue is not an uncommon phenomenon among public speakers, often leading to hilarious situations. However, shielding one person from criticism while lampooning the other for the same mistake, isn’t fair. The lampooning mentioned above certainly reeks of hypocrisy, for don’t we remember how Rahul Gandhi is world famous for his goof ups, from his legendary reference to poverty to the more recent examples of the potato to gold conversion?
In such a scenario, when Amit Shah visited the royal family of Mysore following a visit to the Suttur Math, he issued a statement in a press conference. In his own words, “In a slip of tongue, I said that Yeddyurappa government is corrupt instead of Siddaramaiah’s, and the entire Congress Party started to rejoice that I made a mistake . . . but the people of Karnataka will not (make a mistake).”
George Orwell once said correctly, “In an era of lie and deceit, the telling of truth is the most revolutionary act.” So, if someone owns up to his mistake, and then speaks with confidence about a positive result, you better not doubt his capabilities. With this one statement, Amit Shah has also ensured that this time, BJP is not going to give in to the treachery of the opposition, and will make sure that the benefits of the incumbent central government reach every home and hearth.