You come to Karnataka but don't speak about Karnataka, you speak about yourself: Rahul attacks PM

Addressing a public meeting in Tumakuru district, Gandhi said, "You (PM Modi) say Congress abused you 91 times, but you never speak about what you did for Karnataka."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a Tumakuru rally ahead of Karnataka elections. (Photo | PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a Tumakuru rally ahead of Karnataka elections. (Photo | PTI)

TURUVEKERE: Hitting out at the Prime Minister over his charge that he was "abused 91 times", Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said Narendra Modi should understand that the Karnataka election was not about him.

Asking the Prime Minister to speak about the BJP government's work and future programmes for Karnataka, instead of talking about himself, the former AICC president took a dig at Modi's statement about verbal abuses hurled at him.

"You (Modi) come to campaign in Karnataka for elections, but don't speak about Karnataka. You speak about yourself. You have to say what you did in Karnataka for the past three years. You also have to speak in your speeches about what you will be doing in the next five years, what will do for youth, education, health and to fight corruption," Gandhi said.

Addressing a public meeting here in Tumakuru district, Gandhi said, "This election is not about you, it is about Karnataka's people and its future. You say Congress abused you 91 times, but you never speak about what you did for Karnataka. In your next speech, you speak about what you did and what you will do in the next five years."

Modi on Saturday targeted the Congress over its party president M Mallikarjun Kharge's 'venomous snake' barb at him and said till now the party and its leaders had hurled various types of abuses at him 91 times.

Claiming that when he comes to Karnataka and gives speeches he speaks about his party leaders like Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar and about their work, Gandhi said, "We take the names of all our leaders.You (Modi) come here and don't even take the name of your Chief Minister (Basavaraj Bommai) and (B S) Yediyurappa (former CM). Your speeches are all about Narendra Modi."

"Try taking names of Bommai and Yediyurappa too one or two times, they will feel happy," he said.

Stating that this election was about Karnataka's people, youth and mothers and sisters, Gandhi said, "This election is not about one person, not about Narendra Modi. Prime Minister has to understand this."

AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal and state Congress leaders were present at the public meeting.

Gandhi during his speech highlighted Congress's poll 'guarantees' --- 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), Rs 3,000 every month for graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (YuvaNidhi), and free travel for women in public transport buses (Sakhi).

Accusing the BJP of rampant corruption in Karnataka in the past three years and "taking 40 per cent commission in all kinds of work done by the government", Gandhi said that instead of doing work of public good, "they looted from the pockets of the common man and poor".

"It is not that the Prime Minister is not aware of this corruption and 40 per cent commission. He is aware of everything so my question to PM is despite knowing about this loot for the last three years, did you take any action? You did not. Why? You should answer this to the people of Karnataka," he said.

He also urged the Prime Minister to answer what he did to get Karnataka its right share of tax money, how he helped the state during floods, and how he tried to resolve the inter-state water dispute between Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.

Urging the people to ensure that the BJP, which is "involved in 40 per cent corruption", would get only 40 seats, Gandhi appealed to them to give Congress at least 150 seats, so that "they (BJP) don't buy MLAs and bring down the democratically-elected government".

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