Rahul Gandhi barnstormed across Karnataka on Friday, addressing four rallies, the last of them in the capital, where he expressed his utter dismay at the ruling BJP government’s neglect of the city’s infrastructure.
Heaping lavish praise on Bangalore for having grown into a world-class technology hub, and predicting that one day it would outstrip even Silicon Valley in California, Rahul, however, noted that the Rs 1,000 crore the Centre had provided for improving the city’s infrastructure did not seem to have been used at all. “The state government is doing nothing about the development of the city, or its growing pollution, but only talking about terrorism,” he charged.
Not that the UPA government was neglecting security, he noted, elaborating on the series of steps it had taken, including some specifically for Bangalore. “Our home minister P. Chidambaram, held three meetings to discuss the security of Bangalore, but your chief minister did not care to attend them,” he said.
The venue of his speech was historic – the National College Grounds where his mother Sonia made her first political speech in 1998, shortly before she took over as president of the Congress. While slamming the BJP government for the attacks on women and other incidents of moral policing that had lately occurred in the state, Rahul also promised a Rs 11,000 crore package for the city on behalf of the Centre. But was skeptical about whether the state government would utilize it properly.