Rahul asks JD(S) if ‘S’ is for secular or Sangh Parivar

Congress president Rahul Gandhi's attacks on the JD(S) continued with the leader demanding that Deve Gowda's party clarify its stand on the BJP.
Rahul Gandhi at the inauguration of Samruddha Bharat Foundation in Bengaluru on Tuesday | Nagaraja Gadekal
Rahul Gandhi at the inauguration of Samruddha Bharat Foundation in Bengaluru on Tuesday | Nagaraja Gadekal

BENGALURU/TUMAKURU/CHIKKABALLAPUR: Congress president Rahul Gandhi's attacks on the JD(S) continued with the leader demanding that Deve Gowda's party clarify its stand on the BJP. He asked the party, once more, to come out clean on whether S in JD(S) stands for "Sangh Parivar".

Rahul who addressed three public meetings on Tuesday--Gauribidanur, Pavgada and Tiptur--tore into Prime Minister Narendra Modi for refusing to walk the talk or "nudidante nade" - an idea promoted by 12th-century philosopher Basavanna.

"These polls have been a fight of two ideologies-secular and communal. The JD(S) leaders have to clarify where they stand," Rahul said in a constituency where Congress candidate M Venkataramanappa is in a direct battle with JD(S)' sitting MLA K M Thimmarayappa. The Congress has been selective about attacking the JD(S), limiting offensives only to constituencies where the latter has considerable clout.

Lashing out at PM Modi for giving tickets to mining scam-accused Janardhana Reddy's kin, Rahul claimed that the `35,000 crore allegedly looted by the syndicate could have been used to waive off farm loans at least four times.

Gandhi during the rally accused PM Modi of failing to provide jobs and to work towards the welfare of the farming community, and he promised to build food processing plants in the suburban areas of Tumkur and to build 50 lakh houses if his party is voted to power again in Karnataka.

After a cheering road show in Gouribidanur of Chikkaballapur, Rahul Gandhi challenged PM Modi to list out the achievements of his government towards the welfare of farmers in Karnataka. Making a reference to the Ballari brothers in the dominantly Telugu-speaking region of Gouribidanur, Rahul asked what message the BJP was trying to send by naming B S Yeddyurappa--an accused in a corruption case--as its Chief Ministerial candidate. Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi inaugurated the "Samruddha Bharat Foundation" and held an interaction with select citizens of Bengaluru on the way forward for the Congress.

Earlier speaking after inauguration of 'Samruddha Bharat'- a foundation that will act like a think tank for the Congress Rahul said that he would stand by Dalits even if the entire country asked him to do otherwise. "I will always stand by the underdogs and the poor," Rahul said. Explaining his brand of politics, he appealed to the crowd not to call him 'sir' or suffix 'ji" to his name.

Samruddha Bharat Foundation aims to work with the Congress on the lines of what Vivekananda International Foundation does for the BJP, according to a party functionary. The launch comes barely days ahead of Karnataka assembly elections.

The event started with a video presentation on Hindu fundamentalists committing atrocities on Dalits and minorities. "Regressive forces are systematically dismantling each one of the institutions that have led us to commanding heights," a note from the event said attempting to highlight the core idea of the foundation's inception. The think tank will include professionals, businessmen, activists and youngsters. Congress Rajya Sabha MP K C Ramamurthy will act as advisor of the foundation.

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