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BJP fields another Reddy brother in Karnataka polls

BJP chief Amit Shah offers tribute to Lord Basaveshwara on Basava Jayanti in Bengaluru. PTI

Shah slammed Congress for calling the blast in Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid in 2007 as a case of "Bhagwa Atankwad" (saffron terrorism). "Now that the Supreme Court has spoken in the issue, it is time for the Congress to issue a public apology to Mr. Shah", Rai said.

"Shouldn't Congress apologise for creating the false allegation of "saffron terror"?"

Shah's visit to Rae Bareli comes days after former Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited her Lok Sabha constituency, her first trip there in almost two years. Shah hit out at the Congress leadership saying, several top Congress leaders have been elected from Rae Bareli, but the area remains underdeveloped.

"Rahulji decide on the limit of how low one can stoop in politics", he said, accusing him to trying to defame an ancient culture worldwide. While Shah did not make a direct reference to the SC verdict, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and BJP state chief Mahendra Nath Pandey demanded that Congress apologise for maligning the image of the BJP chief in Justice Loya case. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conspicuous by his absence on the life-size poster at the stage erected on the occasion of grand Parivartan Sankalp Rally addressed by BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday.

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Karnataka Assembly polls are scheduled for May 12 and counting of votes will be on May 15. Though the BJP swept Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 general election, the BJP lost both Rae Bareli and Amethi to the Congress.

"Congress ruled for decades, represented Rae Bareli for long but the district has always been neglected by the Gandhi family".

Close to the dais from where Shah was speaking, a small fire erupted due to short circuit. Because of the fire, the programme was stopped for a while.