In poll-bound Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a strong pitch for the return of the ruling BJP, lashed out at politics of manipulation and addressed a public rally at Davanagere after getting yet another rousing reception in his seventh visit to the southern state.
The PM wrapped up a busy day of public engagements that also included a tribute to the legendary Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya and a Metro rail ride on a new route that PM Modi inaugurated.
In yet another stinging attack on the Congress, he said it looks at Karnataka as an "ATM" to fill the coffers of its leaders.
Seeking a resounding mandate for a successive stint for the BJP in Karnataka, PM Modi said a stable government led by the saffron party was the need of the hour for the State's fast paced development.
Stressing that Karnataka should be brought out of the "politics of manipulation", he said BJP wants to make the State a driving force of developed India, while the Congress looks at it as "an ATM that fills the treasury of its leaders".
This visit of the Prime Minister -- his seventh to Karnataka this year -- gains significance as the Election Commission is expected to announce the poll schedule for Assembly elections, due by May, in the next few days.
On Saturday, the PM also inaugurated 'Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research' in Chikkaballapura district, and Whitefield (Kadugodi) to Krishnarajapura Metro Line of Bangalore Metro in Bengaluru. He took a Metro ride after buying a ticket.
"Karnataka has seen a long period of opportunistic and selfish coalition governments, Karnataka has faced losses due to such governments So, for the fast paced development of Karnataka, BJP's full majority, stable government is needed," PM Modi said addressing a mega public rally organised by the BJP in the district headquarters town of Davangere.
"When no one gets full majority, will Karnataka be in bad shape or not? Do you want a strong and stable government or not? Do you want a government with full majority or not? The first job should be to bring Karnataka out of the politics of manipulation and take it forward at a fast pace," PM Modi said.
"The need of the hour for Karnataka is BJP's full majority, strong and stable government, it is a necessity for the bright future of Karnataka," he said at the public meeting which marked the culmination of BJP's state-wide 'Vijay Sankapla Yatre' ahead of Assembly polls.
'Vijaya Sankalpa Yatre', had begun earlier this month from four different directions across the state, in specially designed vehicles or "rathas" and have covered all 224 Assembly segments.
Asking people if they want him to serve them and Karnataka, PM Modi said. "If I have to serve you and do something for you, I will need BJP's strong government in Karnataka, and you will have to make BJP win and bring in its strong government." Cautioning that Congress leaders start wandering with a "bag of false guarantees" ahead of elections, he said they made false promises ahead of polls in Himachal Pradesh, but the assurances did not find a mention in their recent budget there.
"Can we trust Congress that makes false promises? Should they be allowed to step inside Karnataka or should they be thrown out?" he asked, adding the people of Karnataka should be cautious and should not give the party an opportunity "to play their game".
Alleging that Congress does not have any positive agenda for the country and Karnataka, Modi said, so, Congress is dreaming and even publicly say "Modi teri kabr kudegi" (Modi, your grave will be dug), but they don't know people of Karnataka are saying "Modi tera Kamal khilega" (Modi your lotus will bloom), a reference to BJP's syombol.
At Davangere, PM Modi entered the rally venue in a specially designed vehicle, which made its way to the stage, passing through the pathway made amidst the crowd gathered under the huge pandal.
People showered flower petals on the Prime Minister, who was accompanied by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, BJP veteran leader B S Yediyurappa and BJP state unit President Nalin Kumar Kateel, on the vehicle, as it passed near them.
Earlier in the day on his arrival at Chikkaballapura to participate in the inauguration of Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Modi first paid tributes to visionary, civil engineer, administrator, and statesman Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, at his memorial in his birth place Muddenahalli in Chikkaballapura district.
In his address there, he hit out at political parties which played "game" over languages without doing enough to support them, and alleged that they did not want students from villages, poor and those from backward class families to become doctors or engineers.
Highlighting the challenges faced by youth from villages and poor families to join the medical profession, he said, understanding this, the BJP government headed by him has given an option of learning medical education in Indian languages including Kannada.
The PM then in Bengaluru inaugurated the 13.71 km Whitefield (Kadugodi)-to-Krishnarajapuram Metro Line here, which has 12 stations and was built at a cost of Rs 4,249 crore.
He also took a ride on the newly-inaugurated Metro and interacted with people from different walks of life, including staff and workers of the metro, during his journey.
He then left for Davangere, where during his address at the mega rally, he also targeted coalition politics, Congress and its leaders- Mallikarjun Kharge and Siddaramaiah.
Siddaramaiah's 75th birthday bash was also held at Davangere, which is in the central part of the state, in August last year, and it was attended by a large crowd. Following this, pressure has been mounting on the BJP by its local leaders to organise an even bigger public meet in the region, ahead of Assembly polls.
At Davanagere, a man who tried to run towards the PM's convoy during his roadshow here was caught by the security personnel. Police denied suggestions that it was a security breach.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)