Chamarajanagar/Udupi (Karnataka), May 1: Launching his election campaign in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of being obsessed with “politics of dynasty” and dared party chief Rahul Gandhi to speak for 15 minutes on the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government without a piece of paper.
Addrrssing election meetings, he also charged the Congress with blocking development and blamed it for political violence that led to the death of several RSS and BJP cadres in the state.
Referring to Gandhi’s challenge to face him in Parliament, Modi sought to turn the tables by asking him to speak for 15 minutes on the achievements of the government in Karnataka without reading from a piece of paper.
The Prime Minister’s attack came in the wake of Rahul Gandhi’s challenge last week that if he was allowed to speak for 15 minutes in Parliament, Modi would not be able to withstand it.
Modi took a dig at Rahul Gandhi saying: “He is correct. There is no way ordinary people like me, who do not even dress well, can sit with such high and mighty people like the Congress President.”
But immediately he changed gear and launched a blistering attack on Rahul Gandhi.
“The Congress President is a ‘naamdaar’. So how does he know about the efforts of ‘kaamdaars’. We are kaamdaars (known by our work).
What is our level that we can sit with people like the Congress President who look down upon us,” he asked.
Challenging Rahul Gandhi to speak for 15 minutes on the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government “without reading from any piece of paper”, he said: “You can speak in Hindi, English or your mother’s mother tongue (Italian).”
He also challenged Rahul Gandhi to take Visveswaraya’s name five times in the 15-minute speech. “That is enough. The people of Karnataka will measure the strength of your words.”
Modi also lamented that all development in Karnataka has been blocked by the ruling Congress due to its obsession with family politics.
“Where there is Congress, all roads that lead to development are blocked. There is only family politics, corruption and lack of harmony,” Modi said.
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 and hit out at Siddaramaiah.
“For the Chief Minister (Siddaramaiah) the rule is ‘2+1’. He will contest from two seats and has given his old seat (Varuna in Mysuru) 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.
“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.
The Prime Minister also held the Congress government in Karnataka responsible for “political violence that led to the death of several BJP cadres” in the state.
“It is extremely shameful that the Congress government allowed violence in the state and several BJP workers were murdered. The Congress must provide an answer to the rising crime,” Modi told a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally at M.G.M. College Grounds in this coastal district city. IANS