Bengaluru, Feb 4: Sounding the election bugle in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the people to throw the “corrupt and dynastic” Congress out of power in the state assembly elections, due in late April or early May.
“I appeal to the people of Karnataka to throw out the Congress government as countdown for its pack up from the state has begun,” thundered Modi at a BJP rally, attended by over one lakh people, at the sprawling Bangalore Palace Grounds here, amid tight security.
Launching a no-holds barred attack on the Congress in his hour-long speech in Hindi, Modi said the country did not need its culture anymore.
“India does not need Congress culture anymore as it has ruined the nation. If corruption has to end, the state has to be made Congress-free,” he said.
Accusing the Congress government in the state of being “corrupt”, the Prime Minister said the party was opposing the path of development that the Bharatiya Janata Party was aiming at for the nation.
The Siddaramaiah-led state government has not been able to efficiently utilise the funds the Centre had released during the last four years, Modi charged.
“The Central government had released Rs 247 crore for the Swachh Bharat Mission to Karnataka, out of which Rs 70 crore have still not been utilised.”
The government has made way for the builders’ mafia, sand mafia and other corrupt actions, he said.
Several Hindu activists were murdered in the state which was a threat to democracy, the Prime Minister said.
“The only way that people of Karnataka can respond to this is through the upcoming elections,” he reiterated.
The BJP could take Karnataka to “new heights” with a focus on improving the lives of farmers and creating better infrastructure, he said.
“There are still seven lakh homes in Karnataka which are in the dark with no access to electricity even years after Independence. Electricity will brighten their lives,” Modi said.
The Union Budget’s announcement of a suburban train network for Bengaluru could benefit nearly 15 lakh passengers, he added.
Modi was on a day-long visit to the city to address the BJP rally that marks the culmination of the party’s 90-day rally across the districts of poll-bound Karnataka.
Named “Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivartana Yatra” (journey to build a new Karnataka), the rally across 224 assembly constituencies of the state was flagged off on November 2, 2017 by the party’s national President Amit Shah here.
The rally was held with a view of bringing the BJP back to power in the state on the plank of transforming Karnataka through development. It was led by the party’s state unit president and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and the party’s other state leaders.
Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal who are in-charge of the BJP poll campaign in Karnataka, Ananth Kumar, D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Ananthkumar Hegde who hail from the state, were also part of the event.