Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday appealed to the people of Karnataka to elect Congress Government in the state to power, to bring back its lost grandeur as the number one state in the country.
Addressing an election rally at Nehru Ground here on Monday, Manmohan said the state’s name has been badly affected following the BJP’s misrule that involved largescale corruption and nepotism in the state.
“Karnataka assumed number one status in the country when the Congress was in power at the Centre. Karnataka made good use of the economic reforms initiated by the Congress Government in the 1990s with which it could revolutionise the IT sector, expanding its horizons worldwide. Hence, Bangalore and Karnataka became world famous in IT industry,” he said.
Recalling the contributions of former Congress Chief Ministers of the state K Hanumantaiah, Nijalingappa, Devaraj Urs, S M Krishna among others, Manmohan said: “All those Chief Ministers gave scope for development, which helped the state to prosper and earn reputation in the country.”
Manmohan said under the BJP rule, which changed three Chief Ministers in the last five years, Karnataka earned disrepute, forcing people to struggle for everything. Agriculture and industrial sectors were totally neglected; no new job opportunities created; agriculture fields in the region that grow cotton, jowar and oil seeds dried up for want of water, people had to strive for drinking water, small farmers left their villages seeking jobs in cities, thus the development took a beating in the state, he explained.
Taking exception to the BJP’s tumultuous rule, wherein the Chief Minister was jailed and a number of ministers booked under various cases, the Prime Minister assured that the Congress would provide a corruption-free and cleaner government if voted to power.
He charged that BJP Government failed to properly utilise centrally sponsored schemes worth Rs 5,700 crore. By allowing to set up private universities, the government paved way for corruption in education. Also, regions such as Gulbarga and Bellary were left craving for infrastructure, he alleged.
Listing out achievements of the UPA Government, Manmohan said millions benefited through central schemes such as MNREGA and Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana.