The Karnataka government is a “gold medalist” in corruption and Congress leaders are “drunk on power”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said , as he gave an adrenaline boost to the BJP’s election campaign in the state days before it goes to poll. Flagging nationalism, Modi flayed the Congress for “insulting” national heroes and the army.
He rubbished pollsters’ prediction about a hung Assembly and asserted that the BJP would form a government on its own as people have made up their mind to “demolish the Congress’s last fortress”.
Congress can win Gold Medals in corruption, telling lies and making false promises. pic.twitter.com/3djcEaWtur
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 3, 2018
Days after castigating Congress president Rahul Gandhi for “insulting” former prime minister HD Deve Gowda for calling his JD(S) the “B team” of the BJP, Modi asked people not to “waste” their votes by backing Gowda’s party as it was going to finish “a poor, distant third” in the elections.
Under attack over the BJP giving tickets to the controversial Reddy brothers, allegedly involved in a mammoth mining scam, Modi launched a counteroffensive against the Karnataka government, accusing it of thwarting the Centre’s attempts to check illegal mining by not formulating a mining policy.
Dubbing the Siddaramaiah government as “seedha rupaiah government” (corrupt), a punning allusion to the chief minister’s name, Modi said an ordinary man cannot get done any work without bribing officials. “Because of this seedha rupaiah government Karnataka is immersed in debt,” he told an election rally in Ballari.
Addressing a rally in Bengaluru, he called the Siddaramaiah government a “gold medalist in corruption where there is competion between departments and ministers over who is more corrupt.”
“There is lawlessness in the city not because of nothing. A Congress MLA’s son beats up innocent people and the government protects him…their leaders are drunk on power,” he said, referring to lawmaker N A Haris’ son Mohammad Nalapad, who beat up a man at a cafe in Bengaluru some time back.
Claiming that the people of Karnataka were “seething with anger” because of the Congress’s misdeeds, he said within five years it turned Bengaluru, which was known as the country’s ‘Silicon Valley’ into “a valley of sin”, and the ‘garden city’ to “garbage city”.
Joined the huge public meeting in Bengaluru. I could sense the people’s anguish due to the poor governance of the Congress in state. Congress’ corruption and lack of vision has adversely affected Bengaluru’s growth. https://t.co/4T6GZ7HUxm pic.twitter.com/9uNNTuDqGI
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 3, 2018
“Frome computer capital it has become crime capital, its cosmopolitan culture has turned into cultural chaos, and from being a start-up hub, it has got converted into pothole hub,” he said.
Targeting the Congress at his first rally of the day in Kalaburagi, Modi said, “Forgetting the national heroes, patriots and history is the nature of a family in the Congress. (Jawaharlal) Nehru and V K Krishna Menon insulted General (KS) Thimayya, who had to resign.
“The army won the battle against Pakistan in 1948 under the leadership of General Thimayya, but the man who saved Kashmir had to resign because of insult and to protect his self-respect. They (Congress governments) neglected and insulted Field Marshal (K M) Cariappa,” Modi said.
The young generation of Kannadigas need to know how the “sons of Karnataka” were treated by the Congress, he said, apparently seeking to awaken ‘Kannada pride’ among the electorate.
Seeking to appeal to patriotic sentiments of voters, the prime minister raked up the issue of cross-LoC surgical strikes, claiming the Congress questioned the genuineness of the assault by the Indian Army.
“But a shameless Congress sought proof about the genuineness of the surgical strike. Bodies of Pakistani soldiers were carried on trucks, a famous newspaper said that…and they need proof. Should our valiant soldiers go on such operations with a camera or a gun?” he said.
In the line of Congress fire over the BJP granting party tickets to Reddy brothers, accused of involvement in a humongous illegal iron ore mining scam, the prime minister hit back.
“This Karnataka government frustrated all attempts by the Centre to stop illegal mining in Ballari….to allow the auction of mining blocks. But the Siddaramaiah government failed to formulate a mining policy in five years,” he told an election rally in Ballari.
Seeking to turn the tables on the Congress for its criticism of the BJP over Reddy brothers, Modi said,”The honesty of Ballari is being insulted…as if only thieves and looters live in Ballari.”
The prime minister said it was the nature of the Congress to play vote bank politics.
“It is an anti-Dalit, anti-Adivasi, anti-OBC party. When we wanted to accord constitutional status to the OBC commission, it blocked our move,” he said.
The prime minister said the BJP’s rivals once called it a “Brahmin-Bania” party, but it made a Dalit the president and a backward ‘chaiwalla’ the prime minister.
“The people of Karnataka have made up their mind to demolish the last fortress of the Congress on 15 May (the day election results will be announced,” Modi said.
Referring to poll predictions, Modi said the JD(S) was going to finish a “poor, distant third”. “Will any intelligent person waste his vote on a party that cannot win the election, cannot dislodge the Congress from power?” he asked.
“The only service it has done to the state is to join hands with extremist, communal elements, risking the future of Karnataka,” he said in an apparent reference to Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM exending support to the JD(S).