Karnataka Assembly elections: Modi attacks Rahul over ‘15-minute’ dare
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched his campaign blitzkrieg in Karnataka, unleashing a blistering attack on Rahul Gandhi and daring him “to speak in any language” for 15 minutes about the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government without reading out from piece of paper.
Hitting out at the Congress president, Mr. Modi also said those currently leading the party had “no understanding” of history and the country’s legacy.
“I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of the party government… people of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion,” he told an election rally in Santemaranahalli.
Mr. Modi also attacked the Congress for indulging in “family politics” by allowing a party’s leaders kith and kin to contest in the Assembly elections.
“For the Chief Minister (Siddaramaiah) the rule is ‘2+1’, where he will contest from two seats and has given his old seat (Varuna in Mysuru district) to his son (Yathindra) and for the other ministers (in the state cabinet), the rule seems to be ‘1+1’, allowing their relatives to fight polls.”
Fearing defeat, Mr. Siddaramaiah was changing his Assembly constituencies and contesting from two seats, Mr. Modi alleged.
Mr. Siddaramaiah has filed nominations for the May 12 election from Chamundeshwari in Mysuru district and Badami in Bagalkot district, while his son Yathindra is contesting from Varuna in Mysuru district.
The Prime Minister slams the ruling Congress for indulging in “family politics” by allowing a party’s leaders kith and kin to contest in the Assembly polls.
Though Mr. Siddaramaiah had won from Varuna twice since the 2008 Assembly elections, he shifted to Chamundeshwari, making way for his son Yathindra to contest from his home constituency.
“For the Congress, it has always been about family politics. But for us (BJP), it is about people’s politics. People of the state will decide which kind of politics they will choose (in the upcoming election),” Modi said.
Mr. Modi was responding to Mr. Gandhi’s dare to allow him to speak for 15 minutes in Parliament on various issues, including corruption, and that the Prime Minister will not be able to sit for 15 minutes.
“His speaking for 15 minutes will itself is a big thing. And when I hear that I would not be able to sit, I think… wow, what a scene it is? Congress president, Sir, we cannot sit before you. You are ‘naamdar’ [famous], while I am ’kaamdar’ [ordinary worker]. We have no status to sit in front of you,” he said.
Addressing the first of the 15 election rallies he is scheduled to address over the next few days, Mr. Modi claimed, “A storm, and not a simple wave,” was blowing in the BJP’s favour in the State.
Greeting the workers on the occasion of “May Day”, Mr. Modi also took a dig at Mr. Gandhi for not acknowledging the contribution of workers towards 100% electrification of villages achieved under his government.
“April 28th is a day that will be written in golden letters in country’s history, because our hardworking people made electricity reach the last unelectrified village Leisang in Manipur.
“But the new leader of the Congress did not utter two words of praise for the workers who made it possible,” Mr. Modi said.
-PTI, SANTEMARANAHALLI (KARNATAKA), MAY 01, 2018