Launching a broadside attack on the ruling Congress party in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the people of the state have decided to uproot the Congress and punish it for its wrongdoings.
The prime minister also alleged that the party is already trying to find excuses like faulty EVMs for the “impending” defeat in the assembly polls.
With barely two days left for the campaign to end, Modi ratcheted up the attack on the Siddaramaiah government over alleged corruption and said there is not even a single minister who is not facing accusations of graft.
Addressing back-to-back rallies in Vijayapura and Koppala in north Karnataka and in Bengaluru, Modi brought the Congress in the line of fire over its “dynasty politics” and attempts to divide the society.
In his rally in the country’s IT capital, Modi said the Congress government had not left any stone unturned to defame Bengaluru across the world.
“I still cannot understand what anger Karnataka Chief Minister has against Bengaluru, that he has turned his face away from Bengaluru.”
“This is such a government that has weakened Lokayukta, Lokayukta can get attacked. ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau) has remained for the namesake,” the prime minister said, as he made a volley of charges against the Siddaramaiah government.
Modi listed the five alleged misdeeds (prapanch) of Congress leaders from “Dillipati to Gallipati”. “They are one, one family is everything, nothing beyond that, Second- corrupt government, third- crime and atrocities, fourth- farmer distress and fifth-divide the country, society and castes.”
“The Congress’ panja (claws) with their five prapanch had not only destroyed Karnataka, but also the future of this generation,” he said.
Referring to Bengaluru, Modi said political killings were happening openly, girls were not safe even in day time, people are getting killed on the roads filled with potholes, and if it rains for few hours Bengaluru gets inundated, cold water in lakes catches fire and there are long, long traffic jams.
Modi alleged that Siddaramaiah had handed over Bengaluru to a “trio” for the sake of vote bank politics, apparently referring to ministers K J George and Roshan Baig and city MLA N A Harris.
“Who was responsible for the suspicious death of a police officer?....Such a person should have been in jail, but he is in the government. This is Congress’ character,” Modi said.
He was apparently referring to George over the alleged suicide of a police official who had named him and two other officers before taking the extreme step. CBI is probing the case now.
“Second in the trio is one who is expert in land grabbing, one who has made his name ‘Roshan’ in land grabbing. Will such people do good for Bengaluru. What kind of links he has with Gulf countries, what is the transaction of money,” Modi said.
Speaking about the third in the trio, Modi said his son indulges in “goondagiri” every day, in an apparent reference to Harris’ son who is in jail for alleged brutal assault of a man in an upscale bar-cum-restaurant recently. “When the government, party, Karnataka and Bengaluru are in hands of such people, Congress will certainly become triple P. PPP is Punjab, Puducherry and Parivar- Congress. Congress government has not left any stone unturned to defame Bengaluru across the world,” he said. Campaigning in the Lingayat stronghold of Vijayapura, he alleged the state’s ruling Congress is trying to divide the society and spread the “poison of casteism”.
Addressing an election rally at Sarawad near here in north Karnataka, Modi dismissed projections and surveys by “those sitting in air conditioned rooms” that the elections would throw up a hung Assembly.
Modi made repeated references to the 12th century saint, philosopher and social reformer Basaveshwara to reach out to the Lingayats, the traditional bedrock of the BJP’s support base. Lingayats worship Basaveshwara. “Congress believes in the policy of divide and rule... divide on the basis of caste and religion....make brother fight brother. But people of this land of Basaveshwara will not allow it to happen,” he said.
The state’s ruling Congress has recommended religious minority status for the Lingayats, a traditional vote base of the BJP, a move many feel was aimed at splitting their votes. BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa belongs to the Lingayat community.
Modi said with defeat staring the Congress in the face, it is already busy trying to find excuses. “Congress party has stopped thinking about what to tell people, what should be done till election. They are sitting at home and offices trying to find excuses for the impending defeat... They are planning excuses including blaming EVMs,” he said.
Modi said during his election campaign over the last 7-8 days he visited different parts of Karnataka and gathered the impression that “people of Karnataka have not only decided to remove the Congress party from power, but they have also decided to punish them for five years.” “Can you tell me the name of a single minister who is not facing allegations of corruption,” he said, a day after Siddaramaiah sent legal notices to Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, threatening to file civil and criminal defamation suit against them for making unsubstantiated allegations against him.
In the Koppala rally, Modi said his government’s “mantra is sab ka saat, sab ka vikas (together with all, development for all),” but on the other side there is such a party that “its mantra is one family is their constitution, one family is their government.”
“If they run a government, it is for the family and if they bring down a government, it is also for the family.” “For the sake of power they can go to any level. Divide the country, sects, castes, divide families and create rift between brothers and save their seats. This is their game.”
Boy with golden spoon won't understand poverty: PM Modi in Koppal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a dig at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi saying one who is born with a golden spoon would never understand the difficulties of the poor and importance of Swachh Bharat campaign.
"When I had spoken about Swachh Bharat and building toilets from the Red Fort, the 'Naamdaars' mocked me. Those who are born with a golden spoon never understand the difficulties of the poor. We are committed to serve the poor and would continue to do so," he said.
Addressing a public meeting, Modi talked about a small girl from Koppal district, Mallamma, who resorted to hunger strike for a toilet in her house -- about whom he had talked in his Mann Ki Baat in 2016 -- and had thus boosted the Swachh Bharat campaign in the country.
"I am happy that lakhs of our daughters like Mallamma have showed the path to the entire country," said Modi, adding that toilet is not just a facility but is closely associated with the dignity of women who either used to wait for the sunset or relieve themselves before sunrise.
"The toilet coverage in the country before 2014 was only 40 per cent but after four years of hard work by our government and efforts put in by our daughters like Mallamma, we have raised the coverage to 80 per cent of the homes across the country."
Modi said the BJP believes in "Rashtra Bhakti" and serving the society unlike the Congress whose only concern is one family. He was hinting at the Gandhi family that has given three Prime Ministers since Independence with Rahul Gandhi being the fourth generation running for the post in 2019.
"Our only mantra is 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas'. But for the Congress party, benefit of only one family means everything. They run a government and bring down a government for the family. They can go to any extent -- divide brothers and country -- to come to power."
The Prime Minister said former BJP Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, started a campaign for the state's development but the moment the Congress government came in, it stopped all the works started by him and began giving priority to people on caste basis.
"After May 15, when Yeddyurappa forms the government in Karnataka, he will spread a network of cooperatives in the state that would give loans to women at one per cent interest rate up to Rs 2 lakh," Modi said as he listed down other plans to support girls, farmers and tourism.
Watch Video: PM Modi addresses election rallies in Karnataka
(With agency inputs)