Amid the ongoing protest over the River Mahadayi dispute in Karnataka, PM Narendra Modi addressed a massive BJP rally in Bengaluru today. At this mega event with a crowd of some 100,000 people, PM Modi said, that the people of Karnataka have decided to make Karnataka ‘Congress free’. “Your enthusiasm shows that the countdown of Congress to make an exit has begun. Congress is standing at the exit gate in Karnataka. It has caused destruction here and Karnataka doesn’t need a Congress culture,” PM Modi said while addressing the crowd.
PM Modi said that BJP believes in the motto “Reform, Perform and Transform”. He praised BS Yeddyurappa saying that if Yeddyurappa, son of a farmer, becomes CM of Karnataka, the projects for farmers will work at its best because Yeddurappa has farmer’s best interest at heart.
Ahead of the speech, BJP leaders had said that the Prime Minister’s visit will help the party further boost the momentum it has gained after the Parivartana Yatra. However, pro-Kannada outfits and farmers want PM’s intervention in solving the inter-state Mahadayi river water dispute. The farmers and pro-Kannada outfits had given a call for Bengaluru bandh on Sunday, but it was called off after the Karnataka High Court declared it as “unconstitutional.” It remains to be seen how PM will tackle this big issue that may well impact the poll in the region.
Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements were made for the rally at the sprawling Palace Grounds venue in the city centre. Thousands of youth, especially techies and executives of IT and biotech companies in the city were invited by the party officials to listen to Modi’s speech. Also, just hours before PM Modi’s rally, a Twitter war broke out between the state BJP and Congress. Welcoming the PM, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted that Karnataka was the “No.1 state in investments, innovation and progressive policies”. On this tweet, BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa said the state had become ‘No.1 in corruption’ under the Congress and has faced over 3000 farmer deaths, collapse of law and order.
BJP president Amit Shah had launched ‘Parivartan Yatra’ from the city on November 2 and the yatra culminated with today’s rally that was addressed by PM Modi. In the run-up to the state election, due in late April and early May, the BJP conducted the yatra, crisscrossing nearly all the 224 constituencies of the assembly across the state. The yatra, was led by its state unit president and former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and party’s other state leaders.