In the run up to the May 5 Assembly polls in Karnataka,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh canvassed votes for the the Congress from Indias IT capital,Bangalore,by attacking the incumbent BJP government for neglecting the city. He also promised world-class infrastructure for the city.
Addressing a campaign rally on the outskirts of Bangalore,Singh accused the BJP of paying little attention to infrastructure and industry leading to exit of investors to Pune and elsewhere. A case in point is the metro project,which is 21 months behind schedule. The Congress will give top priority in giving world-class infrastructure to a world-class city, he said.
He said it was the Congress governments under S M Krishna,Veerappa Moily and Dharam Singh whose policies placed Bangalore on the path to progress. Congress chief ministers have been progressive that is why Bangalore has progressed, he said clearly wooing the urban voters. Bangalore has 28 seats in 224-member Assembly.
The PM said the UPA government is working on a plan for a Bangalore-Chennai Industrial Corridor that will create new economic opportunities in the region. The Congress will promote both industry and agriculture in its effort to bring Karnataka back into the fold of progressive and development-oriented states in the country,he said.
Like in his address to an election rally in the northern district of Hubli earlier on Monday,Singh attacked the BJP for misgovernance in Karnataka at the Bangalore rally too. In the last five years of BJP rule,things have changed completely for the worse. Karnataka has been in the news for misgovernance and corruption, he said. Under-developed areas like Raichur,Bellary,Gulbarga and Bidar has been completely neglected and a feeling of insecurity has been created among minority communities,he said.
He said the state government has failed to make full use of the Rs 5,700-crore funds available from the Centre for welfare programmes,of which a total of Rs 321 crore is available under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The BJP government had availed only Rs 321 crore and projects proposed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission remained incomplete, he said.
If the Congress is voted to power the full benefit of schemes will accrue to the people of the state,he said.
The BJP has changed three chief ministers,many ministers have had to quit. The state has done little in drought-hit areas and there has been neglect of irrigation, he said. The PM also claimed that in the nine years of UPA rule,poverty has been going down faster than ever before. The UPA has endeavoured to give high growth and the growth processes are truly inclusive, he said.