Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday cited the philosophy of the Lingayat community to criticise the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the start of the second leg of his pre-election tour of Karnataka. Rahul, who is travelling through the six districts of Bombay-Karnataka region, which has a large population of the Lingayat community, a strong support base of BJP over three days, extensively quoted the philosophy of Basavanna, the founder of the community, to question policies of the BJP.
Rahul, who visited places of religious importance to the Lingayat community during the first leg of his tour 10 days ago, said that visits to places such as Lingayat Anubhava Mantapa had given him a glimpse of the culture of the state.
Citing Basavanna’s teaching that people should do as they promise, Rahul said the Modi government had failed to fulfil its promises to bring back black money, provide jobs to 2 crore people and fight corruption. He said the Congress government in Karnataka is working as per the teaching of Basavanna and has delivered on all promises made to the people in its manifesto for the 2013 polls.
“Modi-ji speaks a lot but does not practice what he preaches,’’ Rahul told a rally at Athani in Chikkodi district. He said the BJP does not have the right to speak about Basavanna as it does not practice the ideals taught by the poet-philosopher.
He cited a teaching of Basavanna which says that in order to find enlightenment, people should “not steal nor kill; not speak a lie; be angry with no one, nor scorn another man; nor glory in thyself; nor hold others to blame’’ and said that PM Modi was not practising these.
“PM has lied by saying he will give every Indian Rs 15 lakh in their accounts and create 2 crore jobs a year, but none of this has happened and he says we have lied to the country,’’ the Congress president told the huge rally. “He calls us corrupt but has corrupt politicians who looted the state by his side. Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya looted the country while the government stood silent, which is as bad as stealing,’’ Rahul said. “How did the money disappear right under the nose of the government? Why is the finance minister silent about this?’’
Rahul said that Dalits and minorities were being killed in many states ruled by the BJP. “Dalits are beaten up in Gujarat and Haryana and Modi does not speak a word; having a BJP government results in attacks on people,’’ he said.
“No one has work in the government in Delhi because Modi does everybody’s work. Ministers have been rendered redundant,’’ said the Congress president. This was an example of the PM being inclined to blow his own trumpet, he claimed.
“Basavanna said that God is one and in all; this is the thinking of the Congress, and when we think of programmes for the people, this is the thinking that guides us,’’ Rahul said. “If you want kaam ki baat, come to the Congress, and if you only want mann ki baat, go to Narendra Modi.”