Modi raises Muslim appeasement bogey at Karnataka election rally

Says Cong conspiring to take away SC/STs’ rights by giving reservation on religious grounds
Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes part in an election campaign meet in Bagalkot on Monday | Express
Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes part in an election campaign meet in Bagalkot on Monday | Express

BAGALKOT: Continuing his tirade against the Congress and accusing the party of indulging in the politics of Muslim appeasement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi charged the Congress of standing with hardcore anti-social elements to appease minorities.

Addressing a mega election rally in Bagalkot on Monday, he referred to the Neha Hiremath murder case in Hubballi, and the Nagarathpet incident in Bengaluru, where a few men allegedly thrashed a shopkeeper for playing Hanuman Chalisa, and the bomb blast in Rameshwaram Café in Bengaluru.

“All these incidents prove the Congress always stands by hardcore elements. The Congress has been promoting and protecting hardcore elements to ensure the minority votes remain intact,” Modi said.

He claimed that the Congress, after losing SC, ST and OBC MPs to the BJP, is now frustrated, and has decided to keep Muslims happy. It is conspiring to take away reservation and other benefits and given them to Muslims, he said.

“SC/STs and OBCs should remain alert. The Congress is hatching a conspiracy to take away your rights. The Constitution of India is against giving reservation on religious grounds. But the Congress always mentions it in its manifesto and promises reservation on religious grounds,” Modi said.

‘Cong running extortion racket’

Accusing the Karnataka government of looting the state, he said the party is running an extortion racket. Claiming that the State’s coffers have become empty after the Congress came to power, he said that according to his internal information, the government will soon not have money even to pay the salaries of employees.

“Today, the Congress government has no money to offer MLAs for local area development. Soon, the government will not have money even to pay salaries of government employees. Children of employees will die,” Modi said.

“The Congress is preventing implementation of centrally-sponsored irrigation projects. By doing so, it is doing injustice to farmers of Karnataka,’’ he said, but did not clarify which irrigation project.

‘Tech hub to tanker hub’

Modi accused the Congress government of “converting tech hub Bengaluru to tanker hub Bengaluru”, and said it had failed to address the city’s drinking water issue. “The tanker mafia is ruling the roost in the state capital. The Congress government is taking commission from this mafia,” he said.

Invoking India’s airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, five years after the incident, Modi claimed that at that time, some people were confused about Balakot and Bagalkot. “Since some people did not know where Balakot was, they thought the airstrike had taken place on Bagalkot. Confusion prevailed for around 45 minutes,” he said.

Homage to Prasad

PM Modi paid homage to former Union minister and BJP MP from Chamarajnagar V Srinivas Prasad, who passed away in Bengaluru on Monday. Describing Prasad as a leader who strove for the welfare of the poor, Dalits and downtrodden, Modi recalled Prasad as a good colleague.

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