In a stinging attack on the JDS-Congress coalition in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy heading a “helpless” government had become a “punching bag” and mocked opposition efforts to impose the same model on the country.
Addressing a massive rally here in north Karnataka and virtually launching his Lok Sabha campaign, Modi said there was not even a single day “when the country doesn’t see the Natak of the government” as he took potshots at the ruling coalition over turmoil within it for the past few weeks.
“Everyone is involved in saving their seat,” Modi said, adding that for the sake of power “MLAs are fighting at hotels and breaking their heads. Several Congress leaders are fighting for their supremacy.”
Modi’s attack on the coalition government comes amid the politically fluid situation in Karnataka, with BJP allegedly making aggressive attempts to topple the government and both ruling and opposition camps having kept their MLAs in resorts and hotels to stall the poaching bid.
In an ugly turn to the resort politics, two Congress MLAs Anand Singh and J N Ganesh, who were reportedly on BJP’s radar, had an alleged brawl, causing serious injuries to the former.
“The Chief Minister here is everyone’s punching bag. Every day he is getting threatened. His whole energy is spent on saving his seat from big Congress leaders,” Modi said referring to Kumaraswamy, who, facing coalition pressures, has often openly expressed his ‘helplessness.’
“Publicly, he weeps about his helplessness (mazboori). Such a helpless government, such a helpless Chief Minister who is being challenged by anyone and everyone. Who is the in charge of the government.? There is confusion about it.”
Setting the “mazboor versus mazboot” narrative, Modi said “Karnataka’s helpless model” was being sought to be imposed on the country and scoffed at the efforts of opposition parties to cobble up a “mahaghatbandhan” (grand alliance) against him.
“They want to impose it on the country. Such a helpless model, where the head of the government keeps weeping at the corner and decisions are taken in naamdaar’s palaces…they want confusion and fight for power to continue and the world to laugh at the country. They want to impose this model on the country,” he said.
Modi said the “New India” wanted a model that was strong and not a model that was helpless.
“Every single vote of yours will decide whether there will be honesty or dishonesty, progress(vikaas) or dynasty (vanshwaad), whether there will be positivity or negativity. Whether you want clarity or confusion. The answer to these questions will decide our destiny” he said.
Modi’s visit came amid an escalating political war over charges of horse trading with Kumaraswamy releasing the audio clip of a purported conversation of state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa over his alleged bid to lure a JDS MLA through his son.
Yeddyurappa, at the vortex of the row over his alleged bid to poach the ruling coalition MLAs for the past few weeks, had dismissed the clip as “fake” and a “concocted story”.
“This Pradhan sevak (himself), this chowkidar (ensures) that the benefits meant for poor are going directly to their accounts. That is why the honest have trust on Modi while the corrupt have a problem, Modi said.
“You are witnessing in Delhi who all are falling in line… About whose income people used to fear talking… they are made to make their appearances before court and agencies and answer questions. They are giving an account of their benami properties in the country and abroad,” he said, apparently referring to Robert Vadra.
Vadra is facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged money laundering case.
“Whether it is the ration of the poor of the country, and of poor farmers, or deals relating to defence of the country, whoever has taken commission, their numbers are coming down one after other,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister also criticised the ruling coalition’s loan waiver scheme for farmers.
“These are the people who did not leave even farmers. People of Karnataka have experienced it. Ahead of elections big promises of loan waivers were made. What happened to it? How many loans were waived off?”
“This is the truth about their loan waiver. For decades these people have been playing this game. They come with a 10 year plan of loan waiver for the sake ofvotes.
They lie to people, but in reality loan waiver happens to about 25-30 farmers out of 100 and even in that most of it goes to middle men.”
Modi also launched Rs 5,000 crore projects, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Facility that includes 1.5 million metric tonnes reserves at Mangaluru (Rs 1,227 crore) and 2.5 MMT at Padur (Rs 1693 crore) at Padur in Udupi district to ensure energy security.
He laid the foundation stone for Indian Institute of Technology at Dharwad near Hubballi, a 470 acre “green, smart campus” with state-of-the-art infrastructure with provision for UG and Doctoral programmes in multiple stream.
Modi also laid the foundation stone for the Indian Institute of Information Technology at Dharwad, which willcome up on 60 acre land with public-private partnership for UG and doctoral programmes in IT and related areas.