Campaigning for the high-stakes Karnataka Assembly elections, seen as a precursor to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, drew to a close Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who kicked off the BJP’s campaign in the state on the first of this month, addressed at least 15 rallies over five days. Leaving no stone unturned, the party also deployed a host of senior ministers to the state in a bid to drum up support. The elections are significant for the party, which is hoping to consolidate its position in Karnataka and mark its entry into south India.
As the people of Karnataka go to polls tomorrow, here’s a quick recap of the Prime Minister’s high-decibel campaign in the state.
PM coins the phrase ‘PPP Congress’
On May 15, when the Congress loses the Karnataka Assembly elections, it will be known as the ‘Punjab, Puducherry, Parivar Congress’, PM Modi said at a rally in Gadag. The party, which once helmed governments in 19 states, is now only in power in a handful, Karnataka being its last stronghold. The Prime Minister added that after this, Congress will become a regional party.
Modi calls Siddamaiah’s govt ‘seedha rupaiah sarkar’
In a twin attack on the Congress and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, PM Modi said, “Baap bada na bhaiya, sab se bada rupaiya (nothing, not even family, comes before money)”, before adding, “Baap bhi bada, bhaiya bhi bada aur us se bhi upar rupiya… seedha seedha rupaiya (Relations are important, money is even more important… it’s all about money).”
In a separate rally, he had also attacked the “Sidda rupaiah”government for pushing Karnataka into the depths of debt. “While people are wallowing in debt, the personal wealth of Congress ministers have been growing. The people of Bellary and the people of Karnataka want an account of all the funds from the ‘Sidda rupaiah’ government,’’ Modi said.
Naamdar vs Kaamdar
At an election rally in Santhemarahalli in Chamarajanagar district, PM Modi compared Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as “naamdaar” (dynast) to himself, a “kaamdaar” (worker). He accused the Congress of being anti-worker and pro-dynasty in its policies. He said, “It is true we will not be able to sit when he talks that is because he is naamdaar and we are kaamdaar. What right do we workers have to sit in front of you? We cannot even wear good clothes. These things do not hurt us because we have been subjugated for years.” His comments came in response to the Congress chief, who challenged the PM to sit through a speech of his in Parliament.
These are the five evils Congress and its culture have brought. pic.twitter.com/iaZLifFMrG
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 8, 2018
Modi’s 15-minute challenge for Rahul
The Prime Minister challenged Rahul to speak on the Congress’ achievements in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without referring to notes, in any language. “During this election in Karnataka pick a language of your choice – it can be Hindi or Kannada or even your mother’s mother tongue and then for 15 minutes without holding papers in your hand list out the achievements of your government in Karnataka over the last five years. Let him do this for 15 minutes before the people of Karnataka,’’ Modi had said.
Modi to voters: Fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s wish of ‘disbanding’ Congress
PM Modi told the people of Karnataka to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s wish after Independece of disbanding the Congress party. He added that with the party facing defeat after defeat in the last four years, the Father of the Nation’s “last dream” was about to materialise with its decimation in the Karnataka polls.
On Rahul becoming PM
After Rahul responded positively to a question on whether he would become the prime minister if Congress came to power in the next Lok Sabha elections, PM Modi said it was an “insult to democracy”. He also wondered whether the country will ever accept such an “immature” and “naamdar (dynast)” leader. He lashed out at Rahul, saying the party thinks the chair is reserved for only one family.
“Those who do not know anything other than dynastic politics have no value for democracy and that is why some people think that the PM’s seat is reserved only for one family and that no one else can take it and that no one else has a right. This is why the elite man has declared he will be PM in 2019. Is he royalty?” Modi said during a rally in Bidar.
‘Learn from Bagalkot’s Mudhol dogs’
The Prime Minister asked the Congress to “try to learn from Bagalkot’s Mudhol dogs”, which were “going out to protect the nation with a new battalion” during a rally in Jamkhandi in Bagalkot district. Mudhol hounds are known for their hunting and guarding skills and get their name from the erstwhile kingdom of Mudhol (in present-day Bagalkot), whose rulers first began to breed them.
Express Explained | This Word Means: Mudhol Hound
The Congress and Congress culture bring with it these evils. It is important to keep Karnataka away from Congress. pic.twitter.com/JT2fGTam5f
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 9, 2018
On Congress’ “arrogance”
PM Modi has repeatedly called the Congress an “arrogant” party, targeting it for being “anti-Dalit, anti-Muslim, anti-OBC and anti-women”. During a rally in Bagalkot, he said the arrogance of the party is at its peak as it did not make a courtesy call to President Ram Nath Kovind when he was elected.
“The arrogance of Congress party is at its peak, a Dalit mother’s child, raised in a village became the President (Ram Nath Kovind), and it should have been their responsibility to make a courtesy call, but they did not like it. It has been a year, but Madam Soniaji did not get time to make a courtesy call to the President, her Prince (Rahul Gandhi) met the President seven months later and that too to hand over a memorandum,” he said.
PM Modi accused the Congress of “celebrating the Jayantis of Sultans”, in reference to Tipu Sultan, during a rally in Chitradurga. He also targeted accused Congress leader and former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru of insulting S Nijalingappa, a Karnataka hero who hailed from Chitradurga.
Modi rakes up National Herald case
Targeting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, PM Modi during speech in Hubli-Dharwad said the “mother and son are out on bail” after facing allegations of involvement in a “Rs 5,000 crore scam”. He added, “Jis party ke mukhiya jamanat par chal rahe hain, wo hame sawaal puch rahe hain.”