Karnataka polls 2018: Modi blasts Cong's 'commission' govt; top 10 highlights

Mysuru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a BJP campaign rally ahead of Karnataka Assembly elections in Mysuru on Monday. PTI Photo
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday continued to press his attack against the Siddramaiah government ahead of the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections. Attacking the state's Congress government, PM Modi asked the assembled people at a rally in Mysuru whether they wanted a government with a "mission" or one that works "only for commission". 

PM Modi lashed out at the Karnataka government over alleged corruption, saying that new scams and charges of graft were surfacing "every day" under its watch. 

Assembly elections are due in the state in late April or early May. 

In the past, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddramaiah has taken strong exception to PM Modi's remarks and verbal attacks. 

The party's state leaders like B S Yeddyurappa and central ministers Piyush Goel, Prakash Javdekar, Ananth Kumar and D V Sadananada Gowda attended the rally and felicitated Modi with the famous Mysore 'peta' (headgear).

Here are the key things PM Modi said in Mysuru and the verbal cross-fire ahead of the Assembly polls:  

1) Modi claims BJP will form govt with a 'mission': Attacking the Congress government in Karnataka as a "commission" government, PM Modi on Monday said the welfare of the people was never its priority and that the state needed a government with a "mission" under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to ensure all-round development.  

The Prime Minister was addressing a public rally in Mysuru. Modi also said that as long as there was a Congress government in Karnataka, the state would not be able to progress. Repeating his comment made earlier this month in Bengaluru, where he had said that the Siddramaiah government in Karnataka worked for "10 per cent commission", Modi said: "You have a choice to elect a party (BJP) which runs a government with a definite mission and reject a party (Congress) that works only for commission."

"Karnataka does not require a 'commission' government but a 'mission' government led by the BJP which will ensure all-round progress of the state...," Modi said.  

2) A 'lesson' in store for Congress: "Congress has ruined the state and people will teach them a lesson in the elections," Modi said, while speaking at the Mharaja College ground in the city, after dedicating various railway projects.

3) 'A scam a day': Modi continued to level charges of graft and corruption against the state government. "Every day a new scam, new corruption charges, and new allegations are cropping up against their leaders and ministers or those related to government schemes. The Congress leaders spread lies and repeat them, believing that the people would believe them. But the people are wiser and they never accept such lies for long," said Modi.

4) Congress a bump in the road to progress: Lamenting the lack of development in the states where the Congress was in power, Modi said the grand old party would act like a bump on the path to speedy progress.

Although the central government provided funds to the state, the Congress government could not utilise them on development projects, he said.

The Prime Minister claimed that despite the Congress ruling the country for over half-a-century, 40 million (4 crore) families in the country were without power.

"For over 50 years, it was only one party that ruled the country. What is the reason that about 40 million families still lack power supply? Why they did not ensure their well-being all these years," he asked, adding that the country could never repose faith in the Congress. "Over the years, several schemes were discussed and debated in Parliament but never implemented on the ground. When we came to power, we identified them and initiated work on such projects," he stressed.

5) Modi announced infra projects: Modi also announced a six-lane 117-km Bengaluru-Mysuru national highway project to be executed at a cost of Rs 64 billion (Rs 6,400 crore) and a world-class new satellite railway station at Mysuru at an investment of Rs 8 billion (Rs 800 crore).

6) Modi has stuck to his message: In a stinging attack on the Siddaramaiah government at a public rally in Karnataka on February 4, Modi had accused it of setting new records in corruption and said the countdown for its exit had begun. "The Congress government is at the exit gate," Modi had said. 

In his previous rally, Modi had said the southern state needs to be made "Congress-free" in order to end corruption. "India does not need Congress culture anymore as it has ruined the nation. If corruption has to end, the state has to be made Congress-free," he had said.

7) Siddaramaiah wants Modi to furnish proof: A miffed Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had dared PM Modi to prove the charges of corruption and misgovernance he had made against the state government at that rally. 

"Being the PM of the country, your words should carry credibility. I request you to substantiate with facts your allegations that corruption and misgovernance are rampant (in my state)," Siddaramaiah had told reporters, a day after Modi launched an all-out attack against the ruling Congress in the poll-bound southern state. 

8) Siddaramaiah hits back: Questioning Modi's moral right to call the state government "corrupt", Siddaramaiah had said it is the Prime Minister who should explain why he did not have a Lokayukta (anti-graft ombudsman) for nine years when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. "By not having the Lokayukta institution for nine years, Modi had facilitated corruption," Siddaramaiah had said.

9) Siddaramaiah burnishes state's record: Claiming that Karnataka was number one in IT & BT (biotech) in the country, the Chief Minister had said the state was also top in silk production. "Karnataka receives the maximum investments among all states as per the data from the central government," Siddaramaiah had said.

The state was also the first to have an electric vehicle policy and launch a universal health scheme, he had said. "The central government has given many awards for the state's policies and their implementation, terming Karnataka the most performing state," claimed the Chief Minister.

10) Karnataka CM says Modi got his numbers wrong: Siddaramaiah had also clarified that the state had received only Rs 845 billion (Rs 84,500 crore) from the Centre in the past three years and not Rs 2 trillion (Rs 2 lakh crore) as the Prime Minister had claimed.

"As per the 14th Finance Commission, the state was to get Rs 952 billion (Rs 95,200 crore) in the last three years, whereas it got Rs 845 billion (Rs 84,500 crore). In fact, we got over Rs 100 billion (Rs 10,000 crore) less and not more," he had asserted.  

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