As Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to hurl barbs such as “seedha rupaiah sarkar” to target him, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday lashed out at him for making “personal attacks” and speaking at a “low level”.
The prime minister was using a language that did not befit the office he held, the Congress leader said, taking exception to Modi calling his dispensation a “10 per cent government” and “seedha rupaiah sarkar” while attacking him over alleged corruption. Siddaramaiah also mocked the Karnataka BJP, saying it solely depended on the prime minister as regards the May 12 state Assembly polls as it had no leader with a “face value”.
“We expected a dignified language from him (Modi). But what he spoke was the BJP’s language and not the one of a civilised person. He spoke at a very low level…this is not the language of the prime minister,” he told reporters at Bengaluru. The chief minister said it was expected that Modi would speak about the BJP-led central government’s achievements and criticise the Congress government in Karnataka.
Maintaining that he neither made personal comments nor used unparliamentary words, Siddaramiah said, “When he (Modi) spoke in an uncivilised manner, initially I thought I would not react. But I was forced to attack him because otherwise, the people would have perceived it as the truth.” At all his election rallies in poll-bound Karnataka, Modi has made a scathing attack on the Siddaramaiah regime, saying it was a “gold medallist” in corruption and calling it a “seedha rupaiah government” (corrupt), a punning allusion to the chief minister’s name.
Referring to Modi calling his dispensation a “10 per cent government,” Siddaramaiah wanted to know if the prime minister had any evidence to back his charge. “He has all the central agencies. If he has any evidence, he should make it public…Modi is demonstrating his triviality by making personal attacks,” he said. Accusing Modi of not honouring any of his promises in the last four years, Siddaramaiah said, “He has totally failed. He is lying to hide his failure.”
Hitting out at the Karnataka BJP, he said it was entirely dependent on Modi for the upcoming state Assembly polls. “The BJP is entirely dependent on Modi in this election. They don’t have people with a face value, be it Yeddyurappa, Eshwarappa, Ananth Kumar, Ananthkumar Hegde or Jagadish Shettar. A BJP MLA has told me that they are dependent on Modi,” the chief minister claimed.
Referring to Modi’s charge that then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had objected to a solution to the Mahadayi inter-state river water issue involving Goa and Karnataka, Siddaramaiah said she was not the prime minister then. Modi was deliberately misleading the people and lying to hide his failures in the last four years, he said, adding that the people would not buy it. Attacking the prime minister over his “sabka sath, sabka vikas” slogan, Siddaramaiah pointed out that the BJP had not fielded a single Christian or Muslim candidate in the Karnataka polls.
Stating that the Karnataka election would be a three-cornered contest between the Congress, BJP and JD(S), he accused the saffron party of “experimenting communalism” in the coastal region of the southern state.