Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that Congress leaders are already thinking up excuses for a “certain defeat” in the Karnataka Assembly elections on Saturday. The Congress government in the state has forgotten the lessons of Basaveshwara, he said, addressing a rally in Vijayapura.

Modi was scheduled to address public rallies in Koppal and Bengaluru too later in the day. “Instead of going among the people, the Congress leaders are thinking about what excuses to make about their certain defeat in the elections,” he said. “Their excuses will include faulty voting machines.”

Invoking 12th-century reformer Basaveshwara, Modi said: “I am here in a land that is closely associated with Basaveshwara. His philosophy called for taking all sections of society together. Sadly, the Congress government has not followed his ideals. All they are bothered about is their votes.”

Modi said his government was working with the mantra of “padhai [education] for children, kamai [employment] for the youth and dawai [healthcare] for the elderly”.

He said the situation in Karnataka was such that Congress did not give election tickets to even its well-known leaders. He also spoke about the safety of women: “Congress has never been serious about safety of women. Here in Vijayapura, there was a case but what did Congress government do? Nothing. It is the NDA [National Democratic Alliance] government that has brought a tough law that will ensure safety of women.”

Modi urged the people of Karnataka to question Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “I urge the people of Karnataka to ask a question to the present Karnataka CM,” he said. “What happened to the irrigation project they promised? Where did the money for the project go?”

The prime minister said his party was more concerned about farmers, and accused the Congress of thinking only about itself.