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BJP's prime minister nominee Narendra Modi on Sunday alleged the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre did not believe in freedom of expression and democracy.
Addressing a rally in the state for the first time after being selected the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate, Modi said the government was planning restrictions on the social media.
Modi took to Kannada while addressing the gathering, saying a saffron wave was sweeping Karnataka.
“I see waves of BJP supporters. It is such a delightful sight... (this was) never seen before in Karnataka.”
Trying to touch a chord with voters in a state where the BJP was ousted in the assembly polls earlier this year, Modi said, “Bangalore leads the way in technology, knowledge and science. I congratulate the people of Karnataka.”
He credited former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with bringing the IT revolution in India.
“In 2000, the Vajpayee government brought the Information Technology Act for the first time in the country,” he said, charging the Centre with neglecting science and technology sectors and promoting “meat exports because of which India's cattle are being slaughtered”.
Modi showered praises on son of the soil, Bharat Ratna awardee scientist CNR Rao.
The Bangalore rally assumes significance in the wake of the BS Yeddyurappa-led Karnataka Janata Paksha announcing unconditional support to the BJP. The former chief minister’s desertion had delivered a blow to the BJP’s poll prospects in the state. He was the first person who led the BJP to power for the first time in a south Indian state in 2008.
Modi countered the attacks on him by the Congress, saying political rivals had resorted to using abusive language.
“The attacks on the BJP and me have increased in recent times. I don't know what not is being done to bring us down.”
He also criticised the central government over falling growth.
“If there is no growth what can we export? Where will our youth go for jobs? The economy of the country is in a dangerous situation.”
In line with his recent speeches, Modi stressed youth power was needed to create a better India.
He said the information and broadcasting ministry was offended after TV channels compared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Independence Day speech with his speech the same day in Gujarat.
“The ministry's advisory that the Prime Minister's Independence Day speech should not be compared with other speeches was... a threat to the media.”
BJP president Rajnath Singh, who also addressed the Bangalore rally, accused the Congress of adopting a “divide and rule” ploy.
“The Congress has adopted divide and rule strategy. Poverty, unemployment, income disparity are rising. We need an action plan.”
Referring to a 2009 snooping allegation directed at Modi, he reiterated “no power can stop us.”
“We will win all seats in Karnataka in the Lok Sabha polls,” Singh said.
Karnataka BJP president Prahlad Joshi handed over a Rs 35 lakh cheque to Modi for the construction of Sardar Patel's statue in Gujarat.
“The amount was collected from 350,000 party workers who paid R10 each to attend the rally,” Joshi said.
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