After attacking Congress in Vijayapura (Bijapur) in the afternoon on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the historically and religiously significant region of Koppal to present his government’s plans for the people of Karnataka.
Addressing an election rally in the district, which is home to Hampi – the ancient capital of Vijayanagar Empire, the PM underlined the connection Koppal has with Ramayana.
“Those who believe in Lord Ram cannot forget Shabari,” the PM said, referring to one of the greatest devotees of the Hindu god as described in the Ramayana.
Located near Hampi, Koppal’s Pampa Sarovar is believed to be the place where Lord Ram met Shabari.
Praising Koppal for its historical and cultural sites, the PM said that his government had launched a scheme to promote the region for tourism purposes and the region would benefit from ‘Ramayana Circuit’.
“We are promoting tourism in Karnataka. We are connecting distant places through airways,” he said.
“To preserve heritage of Indian culture, we have come up with Swadesh Darsahan Yojana at the cost of Rs 5000 crore. It is an attempt to strengthen ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’,” added the PM.
As supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chanted ‘Modi-Modi’, the PM again accused Congress of playing divisive politics along lines of caste, religion and community.
“BJP believes in ‘Rashtra Bhakti’ and serving the society. Our only mantra is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’. But for the Congress party, only one family means everything,” he said.
“After coming to power in Karnataka, the shameful Congress party did not even spare school-going kids. They selected students on the grounds of caste for trips and excursions,” the PM alleged after he praised former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s initiative of developing the region and the state through cultural sites from Hampi.
“When I had spoken about Swachh Bharat and building toilets from the Red Fort, the ‘Naamdaars’ mocked me,” Modi said reiterating his ‘naamdar-kaamdar’ jibe at the Congress. At an election rally on 1 May in Santhemarahalli, the PM had responded to the 15-minute challenge thrown at him by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
“Congress ke adhyaksh ji aapne sahi kaha tha hum aapke samne nahi baith sakte. Aap namdar hai. Hum kamdaro ki kya haisiyat ki aapke aage baith payen. (You were right, Congress president, we, who bank on our work, cannot sit before you. After all, what is our stature that we dare to sit before you who bank on their names),” said Modi before issuing a challenge to Gandhi to speak for the same duration on the achievements of his party in Karnataka without reading from a piece of paper.
In Koppal, the 67-year-old PM continued to target Gandhi, 20 years younger than him.
“Those who are born with a golden spoon will not understand the difficulties of the poor. We are committed to serve the poor and would continue to do so,” the PM stressed.
Earlier today, the PM lashed out at the Congress for “lecturing on women’s rights” but stalling the crucial triple talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha.
“I am surprised that this Congress is lecturing on women’s rights but blocked the triple talaq law we introduced in Parliament,” the PM said.
“It is the NDA Government that has got a tough law that will ensure safety of women,” he said referring to the amendment in the law which calls for capital punishment for rapists of children under 12 years of age.