Firing a barrage of barbs at the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday labelled it as a doomed “deal party” that was being uprooted from all over the country and accused it of celebrating the “jayantis of sultans” for the sake of “vote bank politics”.
The Prime Minister also accused the Congress of protecting the corrupt, adopting a divide-and-rule policy, making false promises and having no agenda other than “abusing Modi”.
At his rally in Chitradurga in poll-bound Karnataka, Mr Modi, while referring to corruption charges against a minister without naming him, said, “The Congress is a party that neither has dil (heart) nor is it pro-dalit. It is a deal party.”
In Raichur, he accused the Congress of “distorting history” as part of a conspiracy to divide the society. He flayed the Congress government led by Siddaramaiah for celebrating the “jayantis of sultans” (birth anniversaries of Muslim rulers) for the sake of “vote bank politics”.
He was apparently referring to the Siddaramaiah government’s controversial decision of celebrating “Tipu Jayanti” every year on November 10, commemorating Tipu Sultan, the legendary 18th century ruler of Mysore.
“Look at the Congress’ character… The birth anniversaries of those need to be celebrated from whom we draw inspiration from generations to generations. They cannot think about celebrating their jayantis.”
He said, “Veera Madakari and Onake Obavva are forgotten, but for the sake of vote bank politics they are into celebrating jayantis of sultans.”
Listing out a string of electoral defeats of the Congress, including those in Maharashtra and Tripura, he said, “From every corner of the country, the Congress has gone” and no one can save it now.
“Now they cannot survive. No one can save the Congress now. For 70 years they have misled and fooled the people,” Mr Modi said, as he continued his campaign blitz across Karnataka where the party is heavily banking on him.
Probably alarmed by some media survey reports which indicated a fractured mandate in elections to the state Assembly, Mr Modi made a fervent appeal to people to give a clear mandate to the BJP to enable it deliver on its poll promises.
“Do you want Karnataka’s name to resonate in the country the way Indias name resonates in the international arena now? If yes, the BJP has to get a clear majority,” Mr Modi said.
Asserting that the Janata Dal(S) has no strength to take on the Congress, he appealed to voters not to support it. “India is being hailed in the world today not because of Modi, but because of the opportunity given to us. Similarly, if Karnataka has to make a name in the country, you have to give a clear mandate to the BJP. People are spreading rumours about a hung Assembly including those sitting in AC rooms. But the response of the people here is enough to dispel such reports,” Mr Modi said.
Describing Raichur as the “switch” of Karnataka’s power hub, he regretted that due attention had not been paid by the state government to address its electricity shortage.“In Bengaluru, the sleeping chief minister gets electricity 24 hours. But in Raichur, where power is generated, people sit in the dark. Should this ineffective CM stay in office,” he asked. The public responded chanting “illa, illa”.
The state goes to polls on May 12. The counting of votes will take place on May 15.
Targeting chief minister Siddaramaiah, the Prime Minister said that he always keeps character certificates ready in his suitcase. “Whenever an allegation of corruption against a minister is made, he immediately takes out a character certificate, writes the name and tells the people he is honest.”