Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said BJP will make sure Karnataka is "Congress-free" after the upcoming Assembly elections. "The Congress government is at the exit gate," Modi said at a public rally in Palace Grounds, Bengaluru, taking on the Siddaramaiah regime.
According to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sources, over two lakh people attended the public rally. The prime minister was on a day-long visit to address the 'Parivartan Yatra' event, which marked the culmination of the party's 90-day rally across Karnataka districts. The initiative was held across all 224 Assembly constituencies and sounded the bugle for the coming Assembly polls due early this year. According to party leaders, the yatra traversed over 15,000 kilometres and aimed at "exposing misdeeds" of the Siddaramaiah government.
In an attempt to please the people at the rally, the prime minister delivered the first few lines of his speech in Kannada. The rally, which aimed at bringing the BJP back to power in the southern state on the plank of development, was led by its state unit president BS Yeddyurappa and the party's other state leaders like Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal, Ananth Kumar, DV Sadananda Gowda and Ananthkumar Hegde. The BJP came to power on its own for the first time in 2008 but lost to the Congress after five years in the May 2013 elections.
'10 percent government'
In a stinging attack on the Siddaramaiah government, Modi accused it of setting new records in corruption. "There are serious allegations of corruption against Congress leaders. Reports are coming about them demanding commission in several projects. I have been told that the Karnataka government is being recognised as '10 percent government' as no work is possible without 10 percent commission," he said at the rally.
"A Congress-mukt government means freedom from dynastic rule, nepotism, corruption and loot," he added. He also accused the Congress of trying to stall the triple talaq Bill and the OBC Bill.
Modi pitches to farmers
In his hour-long rally in Bengaluru, Modi advocated for BS Yeddyurappa to be the next chief minister of Karnataka, where the BJP is targetting 150-plus seats. "In this budget, the (central) government has made a significant decision so that correct price of crops is given to farmers. If Yeddyurappa, the son of a farmer, becomes chief minister of Karnataka, the projects for farmers will work at its best, as Yeddyurappa has farmer's best interest at heart," Modi said at the rally. He also said that farmers were a top priority for the Centre.
Using the acronym "TOP", Modi said: "Farmers producing fruits and vegetables are our 'TOP' priority. 'TOP' means 'Tomato, Onion and Potato'! We have launched 'Operation Green' in the interest of these farmers. Operation Green will be beneficial for farmers just like the Amul model was successful in dairy."
Modi also spoke at length about the various schemes the government launched. "Under Jan Dhan Yojana, 1.16 crore accounts were opened in Karnataka, opening doors of banking for the poor and middle class. More than 1 crore loans have been sanctioned under Mudra Yojana," Modi said about schemes for the poor. "In Karnataka, 1.85 crores free LPG connections have been given. 34 lakh toilets have been made under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan," he added, saying that BJP can speed up development in the state and "make it reach new heights."
'Congress ruining social fabric'
Asserting that there was a "saffron wave" in Karnataka, Modi also spoke of the killings of activists of RSS and BJP workers. He said a number of workers associated with BJP and its affiliated organisations have been killed and that the people of Karnataka should retaliate through votes. "Chot ka jawaab vote se dena hai!" he thundered. "It is an assault on the social fabric. I appeal to the people of Karnataka to vote against the government which attacks the social fabric of the state," he added.
The Congress "ruined" the society, culture and politics, Modi said in his scathing comments against the Opposition. "I can see that the BJP government in Karnataka is not far away," he added. Modi said that the discussion about "ease of doing business" was the talk across the world. "Our government is making efforts for the ease of doing business and talking about ease of living," he said. "But with the Congress government... there are discussions regarding ease of doing murders."
Modi also mentioned the Indian Under-19 cricket team's victory, "Our Under-19 Cricket Team won World Cup yesterday. Their head coach Rahul Dravid was a significant factor behind this victory and this can't be denied. He teaches us to work honestly and live for others," he said referring to the fact that Dravid, who hails from Bengaluru, was instrumental in the victory. "That is the spirit of the people of Karnataka: They work for others selflessly... but the present state govt is ruining this culture," he added.
Modi takes swipe at law and order situation, Congress hits back
He also took a swipe at the law and order issue in Bengaluru, saying that on one hand, the BJP at the Centre was trying to take India forward, while on the other, in Karnataka "there is such a government that there is a reverse flow." (Jahan pura desh, pragati ke taraf badh raha hai, Karnataka mein ulti ganga beh rahi hai ) He also said that criminals are ruling the roost in Bengaluru.
The state Congress hit back on Twitter:
"Bengaluru is known as a Dynamic City worldwide. But @narendramodi accuses Karnataka of having a Law & Order
— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) February 4, 2018
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Feb 05, 2018 16:37 PM