Never seen a PM who speaks 'lies': Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah targets Modi

The CM claimed the BJP had won in Karnataka (previously) not by people's mandate, but "operation Kamala" which meant luring MLAs with money.

Published: 25th June 2023 05:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2023 05:30 PM   |  A+A-

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah


SANGLI: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday hit out at the Narendra Modi-led central government and claimed that in his 40 years of political career, he has never seen a prime minister who speaks "lies".

Addressing a rally in Kannada in the Sangli district of Maharashtra, where the state Congress felicitated him for the party's win in the recent Karnataka Assembly polls, the CM accused the BJP of indulging in corruption in his state.

He said it was the responsibility of every Congress worker to defeat the Narendra Modi government and save the Constitution and democracy.

"Never in my 40-year political life have I seen a prime minister who speaks lies. In 2014, he (Modi) spoke of depositing Rs 15 lakh into the bank accounts of people, two crore jobs and bringing acche din (good days). Did anything of this sort happen?' the Congress leader asked targeting Modi.

Siddaramaiah said he and his deputy D K Shivakumar, who is the Karnataka Congress president, visited every nook and corner of their state to explain to the people about the previous state BJP government's "corruption" where "40 per cent commission" was allegedly taken (for various works).

"BJP means corruption and corruption means BJP, " he alleged.

The CM claimed the BJP had won in Karnataka (previously) not by people's mandate, but "operation Kamala" which meant luring MLAs with money.

"I am sure the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government (in Maharashtra) is also corrupt and it is the job of all Congress workers to defeat them," he said.

The Assembly elections in Maharashtra are due next year.

"All of us have to wage another freedom struggle to save the country, Constitution and democracy. It is because of Ambedkar that I am the chief minister," he said.

He further accused the BJP of dividing people on the basis of religion, region, caste and language.

Siddharamaiah also accused the Centre of asking the Food Corporation of India (FCI) not to provide rice to his government for a scheme, which is one of the five guarantees, that was supposed to start immediately after the Congress came to power in Karnataka.

"In the first cabinet meeting, we decided to implement the five guarantees we gave in our manifesto, one of which is providing 10 kg of rice free to the poor people. The central government's move is to ensure we don't work on this," he alleged.

"The BJP can stoop to this level for politics. We were to purchase rice from the FCI and not take it for free. We want to provide the rice, purchased at a given price, free of cost to the poor,' he said while terming the BJP as "worthless".

Siddaramaiah said before the Karnataka Assembly polls, PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah camped in the state for several days to defeat the Congress.

But the people defeated them, he said. The BJP lost in constituencies where the PM campaigned. This means Modi's popularity in waning, he claimed.

The Karnataka CM further claimed that late RSS leader MS Golwalkar and Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar had opposed the Constitution. The Congress will never allow the Constitution to be changed and all party workers should be prepared for any sacrifice to protect it, he said.

"Social equality and social justice have been enshrined in the Constitution and democracy is thriving in the country," he added.

In the rally, banners in the Kannada language were put up with messages demanding water from Karnataka's Tubachi Babaleshwar irrigation project and a 10 per cent quota for Marathi people in the boundary areas.

Maharashtra Congress MLA Vishwajit Kadam, who welcomed Siddaramaiah, demanded that the Karnataka government look into the water issues of Jat taluka in Sangli, which borders the southern state, and also ensure that Marathi-speaking people of Belgaum do not feel discriminated.

The Karnataka CM also said he would look into the water issues in Jat taluka of Sangli and ensure the people get water. The border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka dates back to the 1960s after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines.

Maharashtra has laid claim to Belgaum, which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency as it has a sizable Marathi-speaking population.

It has also laid claim to a number of Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.

On the occasion, senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat expressed confidence that just like Karnataka, Maharashtra will also have a Congress government (after the next Assembly polls). He also demanded that the Karnataka government consider Marathi-speaking people their own, even as the Supreme Court verdict on the boundary dispute was pending.

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