Tumakuru: Congress is making all efforts to unite various political parties in the country to mount a united fight against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP in the days to come, party president Mallikarjun Kharge said on Sunday.
He also urged the people to root out the BJP in Karnataka during Assembly polls, likely by May, and install a Congress government that will work for all sections of the people and for development of the state.
”Modi is sitting comfortably as the Prime Minister. Let him sit there for few more days. Let’s see what will happen in the days to come. We are trying to unite various parties to put a united fight against the BJP,” Kharge said.
Speaking at a party meeting here, he said Modi did not become Prime Minister with 51 per cent vote share as the BJP got just 37 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. ”Let Modi say what he has done to our state?” Kharge said while hitting out at the government on the issues of unemployment and price rise, among other issues.
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Kharge was addressing Tumakuru district-level Congress workers’ meeting in Koratagere.
Accusing BJP of creating a rift within the society, he said the ruling party is instigating clashes between Hindus and Muslims, and between different castes.
”Such a party’s government is there at the Centre and also in the state. Instead of development and welfare of people, what should be the dress worn to schools, what should be the food habit are their main issues. Root out this BJP government for a happy and prosperous future. All of you (people) should take this pledge and bring Congress back to power,” he added.
AICC General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala, state Congress President D K Shivakumar, party manifesto committee chief G Parameshwara, among other leaders were present at the event.
Pointing to PM Modi’s recent visit to his former Lok Sabha constituency Kalaburagi, Kharge said: ”Using government’s money, car and aircraft, instead of working for the development of the state, how right is it on PM’s part to criticise people like me and Sonia Gandhi, alleging we did nothing for the country?”
”Have the people made you Prime Minister and gave you power to work for the welfare of the people and to develop the country, or is it to criticise us?” he asked, directing his queries to Modi as he accused the BJP government of misusing the Constitution and autonomous bodies to bring down the governments of Congress and other non-BJP parties in the country.
Questioning as to what Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah have to say about 40 per cent commission and corruption charges faced by the BJP government in Karnataka, Kharge asked them to speak about it.
”Corruption is taking place just below you, but you are not looking at it….you say bhaiyo or behno (brothers and sister – the words with which Modi usually begins his speech), and allow them (BJP leaders) here to do 40 per cent (commission corruption), and send rest for the party, so combining both it is 100 per cent,” he said.
Alleging 100 per cent corruption with high estimation on projects among other irregularities by the BJP in Karnataka, Kharge said, ”This is my 52nd year in politics as MLA and MP, other then losing last MP election from Gulbarga (in 2019), I have won 11 elections successively, but have never seen such a Prime Minister.”
Wherever the Prime Minister goes, he criticises Congress and its leaders, Kharge said, adding: ”Tell what you have done for the country, your own party government’s corruption, other than criticisng the Congress wherever you go.”
Hitting back at Modi’s umbrella jibe at the Congress party, the AICC president said the Prime Minister did not find anything good from the party’s plenary session in Raipur, like the resolutions passed, the statement on foreign affairs, unemployment and inflation, among others. ”Leaving everything aside, what he only saw was there was no umbrella over my head.”
At a rally in Belagavi recently, Modi claimed that Kharge, who hails from the state, was insulted and disrespected by the Congress in favour of a ”family”, despite his seniority and age, pointing out that a leader from Nehru-Gandhi family got an umbrella as shade under the scorching heat at Raipur, but not for the party chief.
Chiding the BJP for not showing any shame, Kharge said, ”They protect the corrupt, and put ED and Income Tax behind political opponents, but stay quiet when crores of rupees of ill-gotten money is found in the house of their own people.”
”Why are you sitting with your eyes shut? Where is your ED, Income Tax departments? Are they sleeping, are you controlling them to follow as you say?” he questioned pointing at Lokayukta raids on a BJP MLA’s son and family properties, during which more than Rs 8 crore was recovered.
”Congress brought freedom to this country, we did not fear British, will we fear you (BJP)? We will use our strength to unite and save democracy and Constitution,” Kharge said.