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Will remove BJP from Karnataka and other states: Rahul Gandhi

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also accused PM Modi of promoting corruption

Karnataka Elections 2018 Updated: May 09, 2018 23:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Karnataka Elections,Rahul Gandhi,Congress
Congress president Rahul Gandhi during a road show in southern Bengaluru on Wednesday. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi sounded confident of victory in the Karnataka elections on Wednesday and kept up his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of promoting corruption and depriving Bengaluru of jobs.

Gandhi also alleged that the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), wanted to stop reservations for government jobs and university seats, but said the Congress will not allow them to do that.

A day after he declared that he was ready to be India’s prime minister if the Congress emerged as the largest party in Parliament in the 2019 general election, Gandhi said at a rally in the state capital that the BJP will be rejected in Karnataka and other poll-bound states before the party is finally evicted from the Centre.

“In 10 days, the result will be clear. First, we will remove you from Karnataka. Then, from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and finally, people will remove the BJP from India,” he said. Gandhi said Modi actually insulted the people of Karnataka when he claimed that nothing had happened in the state.

“Wherever Modi goes, he says nothing happened in 70 years. Didn’t you, your parents make Bangalore? Wasn’t HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd made by your parents? Bengaluru became the IT (information technology capital... long before Modi came to power,” he said.

Gandhi accused Modi of depriving Bengaluru of job opportunities by “taking away” the decision to procure 36 Rafale fighter planes in fly-away condition from Dassault Aviation of France, cancelling an earlier agreement under which HAL would have manufactured some of the aircraft in India. The government has denied that any joint venture agreement existed between HAL and Dassault.

“HAL has the expertise but Rafale contract has been taken away, resulting in millions of job losses in Karnataka,” he said.

Gandhi mentioned the suspected bank fraud carried out by jewellers Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi before they flew abroad, and alleged attacks on Dalits and tribals to target the Prime Minister in an election campaign that has become increasingly personal.

“Throughout the day they spread hatred and lies. Modi said we will give Rs 15 lakh in every bank account (by bringing back black money stashed away abroad), but didn’t even deposit Rs 5. He made you queue up at the banks (after demonetisation in November 2016) but gave away Rs 35,000 crore (in the bank scam).. He says he is opposed to corruption. But next to him stands (BJP chief ministerial candidate BS) Yeddyurappa, who spent days in jails,” Gandhi said.

At his rally in Chikkamagaluru, Modi responded, saying Congress had secured 40-odd Lok Sabha seats with difficulty and lost elections in most states. “But look at their arrogance, it is on cloud seven. He (Rahul) is coming here and claiming that he will become PM in 2019. If this is not arrogance what it is? This (Gandhi) family does not have anything to do with democracy...So it keeps looking for every opportunity to negate anything related to democracy,” he said.

First Published: May 09, 2018 23:04 IST