Updated: March 21, 2018 8:56:02 pm
Recalling how Chikmagalur supported his grandmother Indira Gandhi and helped her win the bypolls following the Emergency, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the Karnataka constituency held a special place in his heart. Addressing a rally in Chikmagalur, Gandhi assailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for choosing a chief ministerial candidate who had been to jail. Without naming BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s CM candidate in Karnataka, Gandhi said Modi advocated a “zero corruption” policy but shared the stage with leaders who have been to prison.
“PM Modi comes here and talks about corruption but on the stage with him are sitting leaders who have been in jail on corruption charges, including the BJP CM candidate,” Gandhi said in Chikmagalur. Yeddyurappa was lodged in Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara Central Prison after he surrendered to the Lokayukta Court in an illegal mining case.
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It was from Chikmagalur that Indira Gandhi won the 1978 bypolls, that put her back in the Parliament post Emergency and revived the fortunes of the Grand Old Party. “You people supported my grandmother when she needed it the most. I can never forget this. Whenever you need me, I will always be available,” the Congress chief said.
Gandhi, who is on his third visit to the poll-bound state, also raked up the Doklam issue, saying China had taken up fresh road construction in the area in the past month, but the PM maintained a stoic silence. “China is building helipads and airports at our borders in Doklam but PM Modi is silent,” Gandhi, who took over as Congress chief last December, said. However, on Tuesday, the government clarified that Chinese construction activities near Doklam had not crossed the Indian red lines.
Walking in the footsteps of his grandmother, Gandhi visited a temple in Sringeri and then went to Sharadamba Temple in Sharada Peeth and met the members of the Sringeri mutt. Narrating an incident, Gandhi said while interacting with students of Sringeri mutt, a 14-year-old student told him religion meant truth – Satyamev Jayate. “Strange that children know religion better than our PM, who just lies,” he said.
On Tuesday, at a rally in Padubidre in coastal Udupi district, Gandhi had trained his guns on Modi and slammed the PM for claiming credit for India’s progress. “Wherever Narendra Modi goes, he says in the last 70 years nothing has happened. He is insulting your parents, poor farmers, labourers, small businessmen of India. If this country stands as equal to other countries of the world today, it has not happened in two years. It has taken years of time, sweat and blood of common people. Modi should stop insulting the common man,” he had said.
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