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Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday turned the heat on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime minister nominee Narendra Modi, accusing the principal opposition party of ignoring corruption in states ruled by it and blocking the passage of six anti-graft bills in Parliament.
Addressing a rally in Belagum, Karnataka, in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi once again alleged the BJP neglected the poor. He also raked up the alleged irregularities during the BS Yeddyurappa-led government's rule in the southern state.
"Their leader (Modi) is travelling across India and talking about eradicating corruption... he does not see corruption in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (where the BJP is in power) and Karnataka (which was under the BJP rule).
"We are being stopped in Parliament. They (the BJP) don't allow functioning of Parliament," Gandhi said, referring to six anti-graft legislations, which were described by the BJP as the Congress vice-president's "agenda" in an election year.
Gandhi stressed the achievements of Karnataka, particularly capital Bangalore, in the field of information technology. A day after Modi harped on IT and e-governance to usher in inclusive development in the country, Gandhi said the BJP had posed a hurdle to the introduction of computers.
"When Rajiv Gandhi (Rahul's father) proposed the introduction of computers in the country in the 1980s, a BJP leader had questioned the move. He had said people would lose jobs because of computers."
The Congress vice-president also accused the BJP of not helping the poor and favouring a select group of elite people. Around a week ago, Gandhi had addressed a rally in Gujarat, blaming chief minister Modi for running a 'government of the rich people'.
Bringing similar charges against governments in other BJP-ruled states, he asserted the Congress had always worked for the poor and backward classes.
At a time the Karnataka unit of the BJP is buoyed following Yeddyurappa's return to the party, Gandhi came down heavily on Modi over the Lingayat strongman's term in office.
"He (Modi) doesn't see that party's then CM (Yeddyurappa) was jailed on corruption charges. He doesn't even see 16 of their ministers (in Karnataka) had to resign (on graft issue)."
In 2008, Yeddyurappa had led the charge to form the first BJP government in a southern state. Accused of being involved in a mining scam, he parted ways with the BJP and launched the Karnataka Janata Paksha, resulting in the BJP's ouster in the 2013 assembly polls. He, however, returned to his old party recently.
Karnataka, which sends 28 members to Lok Sabha, contributed 19 Lok Sabha seats to the BJP's final tally of 116 in the 2009 general elections.
(With PTI inputs)