PM Narendra Modi will address three rallies in poll-bound Karnataka today.(AFP File Photo)
PM Narendra Modi will address three rallies in poll-bound Karnataka today.(AFP File Photo)

As PM Modi begins Karnataka election campaign, Siddaramaiah poses series of questions

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah questioned PM Narendra Modi over the BJP giving tickets to ‘tainted’ mining baron G Janardhan Reddy’s brothers and associates, declaring Yeddyurappa its CM candidate, and the black money issue.
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAY 01, 2018 12:11 PM IST

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be addressing 15 rallies over 5 days beginning Tuesday in the poll-bound state, with a series of questions.

Siddaramaiah questioned Modi over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) giving ticket to ‘tainted’ mining baron G Janardhan Reddy’s brothers and associates, declaring Yeddyurappa its chief ministerial candidate, and the black money issue.

“Dear @narendramodi, Heard you are visiting Namma Karnataka tomorrow. We welcome you to our state. While you are here, we Kannadigas would like you to address the following” concerns. Please #AnswerMaadiModi ,” Siddaramaiah tweeted on Monday.

In his next tweet, Karnataka CM advised Prime Minister to end ‘hypocrisy on corruption’.

“Would G Janardhan Reddy be joining your rallies here? You have given his family & friends 8 tickets, hoping it will help BJP in 10-15 seats. And then, you lecture us on corruption. Please end this hypocrisy. Kannadigas aren’t wearing Kamala on their ears,” Siddaramaiah said.

He also wanted to know whether B.S. Yeddyurappa will still be BJP’s chief ministerial candidate when it is reported that Prime Minister Modi himself doesn’t want to share stage with him.

“You first make scam tainted @BSYBJP your party’s CM face in Karnataka. Then media reports that you don’t want to be seen sharing the stage with him at rallies! Karnataka wants to know if Yeddyurappa is still your CM candidate?” Siddaramaiah questioned.

The chief minister also accused the BJP of giving tickets to ‘rape’ accused and MLAs who watched porn in the Assembly but trying to politicise rape in Karnataka.

“In Karnataka, you give tickets to rape accused & MLAs who watched porn in Assembly. In UP, CM Adityanath protects a BJP MLA who raped a 16 Yr old girl. In J&K, your MLAs defend rapists of a child. And then your party makes bombastic Ads to politicise rape in Karnataka?! (sic),” Siddaramaiah said.

The chief minister also said Prime Minister Modi didn’t fulfill his poll promise of giving Rs. 15 lakh to people, didn’t create jobs for youth and brought misery to people through demonetisation.

“First, you promised 15L to ppl, then Shah called it an election Jumla. You promised jobs, but then advised youth to sell pakodas. You said demonetisation would end black money, but it only brought misery to common ppl. And then you come here and call real development a lollipop? (sic),” the Karnataka CM said.

He also wanted to know whether Prime Minister Modi was really serious about farmers’ concerns.

“Your mantra = Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas but your govt has forsaken the poor. Banks write off 2.71L Cr corp loans, but farmers get only speeches. MSP for farmers not increased, but they get promise of doubling income by 2022. Are you serious abt farmers’ concerns? #AnswerMaadiModi (sic),” Siddaramaiah said.

Prime Minister Modi, who last visited Karnataka for campaigning in February, will be addressing rallies at Santhemarahalli in Chamarajanagara district, and Udupi and Chikkodi in Belagavi on Tuesday. Ahead of his Udupi rally, Modi is scheduled to visit Krishna matha and meet the senior seer there.

Modi will be in Karnataka on May 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8, addressing three rallies a day.

BJP spokesperson S Prakash told HT, “PM Modi’s entry is like (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni going into bat in the crucial few last overs of a match. His mere presence will make a difference. Given his huge personal appeal, we fully expect to get a boost to our campaign.”

With most pre-poll surveys indicating either a hung assembly or a slim majority for the ruling Congress in the state, the BJP is be hoping that the Prime Minister’s popularity and charisma will help it get closer to the halfway mark of 113 seats in the 224-member assembly.

(with ANI inputs)

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