Davanagere: Making a powerful pitch for the return of the BJP government in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the people of the State where Assembly polls are due by May, to give the party a full majority for a stable government. Stressing that fast-paced development was the need of the hour, he urged the people of Karnataka to help bring the State out of the ”politics of manipulation”.
The BJP wanted to make the State a driving force of developed India, while the Congress looked at it as ”an ATM that fills the treasury of its leaders”, he alleged.
”Karnataka has seen a long period of opportunistic and selfish coalition governments. Karnataka has faced losses due to such governments. So, for fast-paced development of Karnataka, BJP’s full majority, and stable government is needed,” Modi said.
Addressing a mega public meeting here, he asked, ”When no one gets full majority, will Karnataka be in bad shape or not? Do you want a strong and stable government or not? Do you want a government with full majority or not? ”The first job should be to bring Karnataka out of the politics of manipulation and take it forward at a fast pace,” he said.
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Speaking at the rally held to mark the culmination of the BJP’s statewide ‘Vijay Sankalpa Yatre’ ahead of the Assembly polls, Modi asked the people if they wanted him to serve them and Karnataka. ”If I have to serve you and do something for you, I will need BJP’s strong government in Karnataka, and you will have to make BJP win and bring in its strong government,” he asserted.
‘Vijaya Sankalpa Yatres’ had begun earlier this month from four different directions across the State, in specially-designed vehicles or ”rathas”, and have covered all 224 Assembly segments.
Targeting the opposition Congress, Modi said its leaders had been ”wandering with a bag of false guarantees” ahead of elections. He claimed that the promises Congress had made ahead of polls in Himachal Pradesh did not find mention in their recent budget there.
”Can we trust Congress that makes false promises? Should they be allowed to place a step inside Karnataka or should they be thrown out,” he asked, adding that the people of Karnataka should be cautious and not give them an opportunity ”to play their game”.
Claiming that the Congress did not have any positive agenda for the country or Karnataka, Modi alleged that the opposition party had been dreaming and even publicly saying, ”Modi teri kabr kudegi” (Modi, your grave will be dug). ”But they don’t know that the people of Karnataka are saying, ‘Modi tera kamal khilega’ (Modi, your lotus will bloom),” he said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, veteran BJP leader B S Yediyurappa, BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and Union Ministers of State Shobha Karandlaje, Rajeev Chandrasekhar and A Narayanaswamy, were present at the event, along with several Karnataka ministers.
Pointing to the BJP’s victories in the Mayor and Deputy Mayor polls in Kalaburagi, which is the home town of Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge, the PM said it was a good sign that denoted the beginning of a ”Vijay Yatra” (Victory March) for his party, and that Karnataka had decided to return the double-engine government to power.
”My programme here was preplanned, so I have come, but coincidentally the Mayoral poll results have been announced. But Congress will link it with my visit and say that I have done something and that’s why they lost in their national president’s home turf,” he said. Taking a dig at Congress leader Siddaramaiah without naming him, he referred to a video of him purportedly slapping a worker, which went viral on social media, and said, ”Those who cannot respect their own party workers, how can they respect the public?” He said he was proud that in the BJP all workers were equal, and to him every worker of the Karnataka BJP was like a ”close friend and brother”.
The PM claimed that the BJP had changed the ”politics of perception to the politics of performance” in the country, and listed out various developmental projects that were launched by him recently in the State.
”This is a double-engine government that works day and night. From providing free ration to free health care, it is taking care of and working for the poor,” he said.
The world today was looking towards India, the Prime Minister said, and India was looking towards Karnataka. He highlighted Karnataka’s leading position in FDI inflow to the country to buttress his point.
Stating that India was being lauded across the globe, he said, ”…the reason for it is not Modi, as you are saying, but the reason for it is your vote. It is the strength of your one vote.” Announcing that he would once again visit Karnataka in the first week of April to mark ”World Tiger Day”, he said the Government of India was organising an event on the occasion, to promote tourism in connection with wildlife and tigers.
At the end of his address, Modi even asked the crowd to switch on their mobile torch light to symbolically send the ”light of Vijaya Sankalpa” to every house and booth in the State.