With just 15 days to go before the Karnataka Assembly election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed party workers on Thursday morning. His primary instruction to office-bearers was to have as many women workers on the field as men. "Distribute the families to be targeted between all the workers. You won't need anything else to win elections. This is not about winning the Vidhan Sabha election, it is about winning at the booth-level," he said. The prime minister then urged party workers to "reach each and every vote".
Ahead of the crucial polls in the southern state, Modi said that the BJP governed and fought elections solely based on the development model. "We know other political parties hesitate to talk on development because development can be quantified. This was unacceptable to those parties which only concentrated on division. We govern and also fight elections based only on development model," he said.
"We walk ahead keeping unity in mind. Sabka saath, sabka vikas, is the mantra we follow. I have seen Karnataka has made up its mind on development," he added.
Hitting out at the Congress party, Modi accused the party of "rampant lying" after witnessing heavy losses in the last state Assembly elections. "Congress has resorted to rampant lying after a series of defeats in elections. In such circumstances, karyakartas must stand their ground, expose their lies and also fight their means of deceiving people by hiring foreign agencies," he said.
Modi also claimed "some parties" exploited the emotions of some communities before elections and forgot about them after the polls. "If you analyse last few elections, you will realise how few political parties have indulged only in dividing societies on religious lines. They exploit emotions of some community before the elections and forget them after the elections," he said.
Comparing how the NDA government performed in comparison to the UPA, the prime minister said the BJP-led coalition has worked more towards infrastructural development and produced double the results in four years. "In renewable energy sector, UPA added only 2,000 MW to the power grid while we added 7,800 MW in just four years. In solar energy sector alone, we have piled up 4,800 MW capacity as compared to a meagre 31 MW under UPA's rule," he claimed.
Speaking of road development in Karnataka, Modi said there is close to Rs 14,000 crore worth of road works under progress. "In Karnataka, close to Rs 14,000 crore worth of road works is under progress. It will serve as a good fortune for Karnataka for a century. While we constructed 1,750 Km of highways in four years, for Karnataka, UPA had only built half of this," he said.
"Had the local state government not indulged in petty politics, had they extended full cooperation, we could have achieved even better figures. I want to add more pace to our development works in Karnataka. I need your support for this to happen," he told party workers during the interaction.
The prime minister also encouraged the voters to elect a government with complete majority. He also accused the Congress of spreading lies about a "hung" Assembly. "Now that people have seen that Congress is going to lose, people have started talking about a 'hung' Assembly. They are spreading lies that there will be no clear majority. It is their conspiracy to dissuade voters from casting their vote," Modi said pointedly. "Now our job is to reach each and every voter," he added.
Claiming he was also a true Kannadiga in spirit, Modi encouraged party workers to move forward in the same manner.
On the state of agriculture in Karnataka, Modi listed all the Central government schemes in place such as the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and said his government wanted to promote value addition. He also spoke about the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and said that during the Congress rule in the state, farmers were not able to avail these advantages due to the state's incompetency.
Seeking to strengthen the sandalwood production, he said, "Karnataka, which is known for sandalwood, lost out when Australia took specimens from the state and started producing it in its country. We have to focus on that."
However, Modi avoided answering questions on farmer suicides in the state, and instead focused on his vision for a 'sweet revolution'. "We want to bring about 'sweet revolution' with honey. Our farmers can earn a significant amount of income with honey," he said.
Speaking of civic apathy in Bengaluru, Modi said the state must provide for shortages that might occur in the future. "We have to make provision for water shortages we might face 20-30 years later. I believe people are not to blame for Bengaluru's sorry state of affairs," he said.
On Sunday, Modi interacted with BJP MPs and MLAs through his app over a variety of issues, including the ongoing 'gram swaraj' drive, which had started on 14 April and would continue till 5 May.
The BJP is locked in a tough fight with the ruling Congress in Karnataka and is banking on Modi's charisma to help it come back to power in the state after five years. The prime minister will start his campaign in the state from 1 May and is expected to address anywhere between 15-20 rallies, party sources said.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2018 13:59:45 IST