Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said he was confident that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yeddyurappa will be the next chief minister of Karnataka. Modi was addressing a rally at Santhemarahalli in Mysuru.
“Before I came here, I was told there is a wave for the BJP,” Modi said. “Now that I am here, I can tell you, it is much more than that. There is not a BJP wave in Karnataka, but it is a BJP storm.”
Modi said he dedicated the electrification of all villages to the country’s workers and labourers on the occasion of Labour Day on Tuesday. On Sunday, the prime minister had claimed that all villages in India have now been electrified. A village is said to be electrified if at least 10% of its households, as well as public places such as schools, panchayat offices and health centres, have access to electricity. Out of 18,452 villages without access to power three years ago, 17,181 have been electrified. The others are either uninhabited or classified as grazing reserves.
“Perhaps due to over excitement, the newly-elected Congress President [Rahul Gandhi] forgets decency,” said Modi. “He did not even bother to congratulate the hardworking labourers due to whom India’s villages are getting electricity.”
Modi said former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had claimed that every village in India will be provided electricity by 2009. Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi had also claimed that all households in the country will be electrified under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, the prime minister said. “Will she and her son Rahul Gandhi answer why this was not achieved?” Modi asked.
The prime minister further said that the BJP government at the Centre has vowed to electrify four crore households through Saubhagya Yojana.
He accused the Congress government in Karnataka of not maintaining law and order in the state. “The Lokayukta is not safe, how can the common people be safe,” Modi said, referring to the attack on Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty in Bengaluru in March.
The prime minister also reacted to Rahul Gandhi’s challenge to a 15-minute debate in Parliament on various topics.
“I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of the party government...people of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion,” Modi said.
Modi also addressed a rally in Udupi on Tuesday afternoon. He said the alleged murders of BJP workers in Karnataka were shameful, and the Congress must answer on the rising crime in the state, ANI reported.
Modi accused the Congress government of making “atkana, latkana and bhatkana [stopping, blocking and misleading]” its habit. He invoked Mahatma Gandhi to say that the Father of the Nation wanted to disband the Congress after independence, and it was Karnataka’s turn now to fufil that “dream”.
“All states that got the opportunity in the last four years tried to fulfil Gandhi’s dream, now it is Karnataka’s turn,” Modi said.
Before Modi addressed the voters in Mysuru, Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, said the BJP will win more than 150 seats. “The Congress will not win more than 50 seats,” Yeddyurappa said. “There is a wave of BJP in the state, we will win more than 150 seats, the Janata Dal (Secular) will not win more than 25 seats.”
He also clarified that the BJP will go it alone in the Assembly elections on May 12.