Chamarajanagar/Udupi: In the final push ahead of the May 12 Assembly Elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there is a BJP storm in Karnataka.
Speaking at Santhemarahalli in Chamarajanagar yesterday, Modi said, there is a ‘BJP storm’ and not a ‘BJP wave’ in Karnataka. He began his 45-minute campaign speech in Kannada and went on to slam Congress President Rahul Gandhi for disrespecting the National Song – Vande Mataram.
Rahul Gandhi had at a rally in Bantwal signalled to Congress leader K.C. Venugopal to wrap up the proceedings. A person then informed the singer to cut short the National Song, thereby disrespecting Vande Mataram. “Congress leaders do not know about national history, don’t respect Vande Mataram,” hit out PM Modi.
15-MINUTE CHALLENGE: Stressing on a Kaamdaar versus Naamdaar (worker vs. dynast) narrative on May Day to counter the Congress, Modi challenged Rahul Gandhi’s oratory skills. “Without a paper in hand, can you talk about the achievements of your government in Karnataka for 15 minutes? You may speak in a language you please- English, Hindi or your maternal family’s mother tongue,” Modi mocked Rahul Gandhi.
Stating that dynastic politics has destroyed the nation and democracy, Modi went on to accuse the Siddharamaiah Government of corruption by stating, “It is the reason for destruction of Karnataka politics. The State Government, its Ministers and their followers are all complicit in some corruption cases. The people of Karnataka know that the 10% commission has destroyed the democracy.”
He added, “Wherever there is Congress, crime, corruption and dynastic politics are there and development goes for a toss. The same happened in Karnataka. There is no water in this region, no employment.”
CHAMUNDESHWARI AND BADAMI: Taking on Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, PM Modi accused the Congress of following the “2+1 formula in Karnataka” – a dig at the dynastic politics of the ruling party in the State. He took a dig at Siddharamaiah for choosing to vacate his Varuna seat for his son Dr. Yathindra, while contesting at two places – Chamundeshwari and Badami.
“This is the political innovation of the CM, who is generally sleeping. The CM is running away from constituencies fearing defeat. Now he is standing in two constituencies and is now asking his son to fight from the seat where his own defeat was certain. He wants to win at least one seat out of three so that family tradition continues,” Modi lashed out.
In Udupi, Modi furthered the BJP’s carefully built narrative of the Siddharamaiah Government being “anti-Hindu”. “Violence cannot exist in a democracy. It is shameful how BJP workers were murdered in Karnataka,” he said. He added that while his government at the Centre was talking about “ease of doing business,” the Congress believed in “ease of doing murder.”
FLAG OF FRIENDSHIP AT JD(S): In what could be BJP’s attempts at waving a flag of friendship at JD(S) — a party that could very well have a say in who forms the next government if predictions of a hung assembly are anything to go by — Modi chided Rahul Gandhi and the Congress for “disrespecting” JD(S) Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda.
“Is this your sanskar (culture)? Is this the way you treat your elders?” Modi said. The PM tried to connect with the local sentiment of the population and said while Deve Gowda may be an Opposition Leader, as a former Prime Minister he always deserves due respect.
He said Deve Gowda has a staunch BJP critic, but he (PM Modi) has always shown him respect whenever they meet in Delhi. “He is our critic. In parliament his party votes against us. We may have difference of opinions but I can never ever think of being discourteous to him. Whenever he (Deve Gowda) comes to meet me in Delhi, I receive him and even open the car’s doors for him as he is elder and a senior leader of the country,” Modi said.
TARGET SIDDHARAMAIAH: Addressing the gathering earlier, Yeddyurappa slammed Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and the Congress manifesto for promising to give more power to the Lokayukta.
“Siddharamaiah, you say now that you will bring back the Lokayukta if you are re-elected. What were you doing these past five years? Grazing donkeys?” Yeddyurappa lashed out against Siddharamaiah.
He also hit out at Siddharamaiah for calling BJP’s star campaigners – the PM and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath as outsiders. “Siddharamaiah says that UP CM Yogi Adityanath is an outsider and that PM Narendra Modi is an outsider. Then is Rahul Gandhi his nephew? Is Sonia Gandhi his sister-in-law?” asked Yeddyurappa.