Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the people of Karnataka to bring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in the state at his third election rally on Tuesday in Kempegowda near Bengaluru.
The PM, who is on the last leg of his campaign trail in the poll-bound southern state, began by paying tribute to BN Vijay Kumar, the BJP MLA from Jayanagar in Bengaluru who passed away due to a heart attack on 4 May during campaigning.
Kumar, who won from the same seat two times, was contesting from the same constituency for the assembly elections scheduled for 12 May.
“I do not understand why the CM dislikes Bengaluru. He has handed over Bengaluru to an infamous trio – and we all know this trio – we also know they have been given charge of this city due to vote bank politics. This trio excels in all the wrong things,” he alleged without taking any names.
“The people of Bengaluru must know whose name came up in the unfortunate death of a police officer here. People who should be in jail are sitting in Government in Karnataka,” he said referring to the suicide of police officer MK Ganpathy in which the CBI filed a case against Karnataka minister KJ George in October 2017.
He accused the Congress government of presiding over corruption in the five years of its reign in the state.
“Under the Congress government, Bengaluru’s infrastructure is crumbling. Women’s safety is not a priority for the state Government,” the PM alleged.
“CM of Karnataka carries his character certificate in his briefcase and as soon as charges are levelled, he issues a character certificate,” said Modi on Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah.
Taking a jibe at the 71-year-old former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Modi said, “When Madam Sonia used to run the government run by an economist PM with a remote control, India was counted among the fragile five.”
“India’s perception has changed over the last four years. Before 2014, we were in the list of ‘Fragile Five’ but now we are seen as a strong economy,” the PM pointed out while highlighting the policies and promises of his government including women’s safety.
Just before his rally in Bengaluru, Sonia Gandhi launched a scathing attack on Modi cornering the PM on a host of issues.
“Modi ji par Congress mukt bharat ka junoon hai, unhe iska bhoot laga hai, Congress mukt bharat to chhoriye, vo apne saamne kisi ko bardaash nahi kar sakte (Modi is obsessed with ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’. Leave that, he cannot even tolerate anyone before him),” Gandhi mocked the PM’s popular call to his supporters.
“Modi indeed is a great orator. He makes speeches like an actor. I want him to make more such speeches if it fills the stomachs of the people. But his speech cannot fill the stomachs, cannot guarantee women empowerment, jobs, etc,” said the 71-year-old leader who is credited for bringing the Congress back from the brink in the late 1990s and into power for 10 years from 2004 to 2014.
At Bengaluru, the PM said that in the first meeting after BS Yeddyurappa comes to power in the state, the BJP government will create the roadmap for fulfilling the promises.