Taking on Congress leaders for attacking BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today they were talking “rubbish” about him. Addressing an election rally here in Yeddyurappa’s home district, Modi said political differences and rivalry may exist, allegations and counter-allegations made, but restraint must be exercised while speaking. “The kind of language they are using….baseless allegations they are making ignoring his age and commitment to the society. “All kinds of ‘anap shanap’ (rubbish) language is being used…I want to tell the people of Shivamogga to ensure that Congress candidates lose their deposit, Yeddyurappa’s insult is avenged,” he said with the Lingayat strongman seated on the dais.
He also hit out at Congress leaders for making “fun” of Yeddyurappa’s visit to homes of people belonging to the deprived sections, saying it amounted to ridiculing the poor. Modi’s defence of Yeddyurappa came following relentless attacks by Congress leaders, including its president Rahul Gandhi, who raised questions over the BJP declaring a “corrupt and tainted” person its chief ministerial candidate.
Calling the Congress “power hungry”, Modi said it followed the British policy of divide and rule. He accused the Congress of dividing the society in the name of caste, tradition, and region. “I want to ask the Congress and its leaders do you do the right thing when you make a distinction between criminals on the basis of caste, sect and tradition? Is it right to say a criminal is innocent on the basis of sect and tradition? “I want to ask Karnataka’s Congress government who gave protection to killers of innocent BJP workers from the abc of communalism–PFI, SIMI and others….these alphabets of violence….who gave this saugat (gift) to Karnataka?”
The BJP has been alleging ‘jihadi elements’ were killing its workers and were being protected by the Congress government. Attacking Congress over alleged corruption, Modi said one of its ministers in Karnataka had assets worth Rs 75 crore in 2008 that grew to Rs 250 crore in 2013 and to a whopping Rs 800 crore now. “Look at Congress’s model of vikas (development), one of itsministers told the Election Commission while filing nominations that his assets grew from Rs 250 crore to Rs 800 crore in five years. Whose money is this? Isn’t this the money of people,” he said, apparently referring to energy minister D K Shivakumar, whose house was raided by Income Tax authorities a few months ago.
The prime minister also mocked Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his assertion that his party would not allow thieves to get elected despite Modi’s efforts. “Tell us first about MLAs and minister from whose almirah, bed, and bathroom walls money was recovered, jewellery came out….who are they? who sent them to Assembly? who has given them ticket again?” Modi asked.