In his first assignment as the star campaigner for the Congress in Karnataka, chief minister Siddaramaiah Monday said Narendra Modi was the BJP’s PM candidate as he was a “hardcore RSS man”. He also accused BJP’s five-time Bangalore South MP H N Ananth Kumar of not providing people in his constituency anything except his “habitual big smile”.
Siddaramaiah, who visited the Bangalore South constituency to campaign for Congress candidate, political novice and former Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani, said, “Why is the BJP projecting only Narendra Modi as the prime minister candidate; why not L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley or Rajnath Singh? It is because Modi is a hardcore RSS man.”
He added that the country will not be at peace if Modi becomes PM. “They killed people, they burnt people. Will this country be able to live in peace?” Siddaramaiah said, referring to the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. The CM attacked the Gujarat model of development and said Modi had not introduced any initiative to alleviate poverty. “There is no Modi wave in the country, there is only Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi wave,” he said.
“Modi is the chief minister of Gujarat like I am the chief minister of Karnataka. They are saying he will make the country like Gujarat, but Gujarat has slipped down the human development index since Modi became CM. Gujarat spends only three per cent of its budget on healthcare. In Karnataka, we spend five per cent,” he claimed.
“Modi talks of corruption but for 10 years, he did not appoint a Lokayukta in Gujarat. Why did he not do it? How can he campaign against corruption in such a scenario?” Siddaramaiah asked. Taking on Nilekani’s opponent, Siddaramaiah said, “The people of this constituency have elected Ananth Kumar five times but what has he given people other than his habitual big smile?”
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“People are eager to defeat to Kumar. Last time, if the Congress had announced Krishna Byre Gowda’s candidature 15 days earlier, he would have defeated Kumar. This time he is losing, it is guaranteed,” he added. Meanwhile, Nilekani, who is still finding his feet in the world of political rhetoric, stuck to a simple request for change while seeking the support of the people of his constituency.