New Delhi: Minutes after BS Yeddyurappa stepped down as chief minister in Delhi, Congress Rahul Gandhi took the just-concluded battle for Karnataka right to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's door. An unusually combative Mr Gandhi, 47, said the BJP's failed effort to buy a majority in the assembly had been "directly authorised" by PM Modi and the idea that he was fighting corruption is a "blatant lie".
- BJP's effort to buy majority "directly authorised" by PM: Rahul Gandhi
- BJP, with 104 seats, was eight short of the majority-mark
- Congress-JDS accused BJP of trying to bribe, abduct, threaten lawmakers
"He (PM Modi) is corruption," Rahul Gandhi said, as he went ahead to thank his party leaders and people who had stood their ground. "I am proud to say that they have been shown that in India, power is not everything, money is not everything... the will of the people is everything," he said.
"The PM's model of governance is not democracy but dictatorship," he said,
Mr Gandhi's stinging attack drew an immediate counter from union minister Ananth Kumar. "This is the Prime Minister who has provided a scam less govt. If he levels such allegations, people will say he has lost his mind," Mr Kumar said.
The BJP, with 104 seats, was eight short of the majority-mark - 111 but had controversially been invited by Karnataka governor to form the government on Wednesday. BS Yeddyurappa's party had tried to reach out to lawmakers from the Congress-Janata Dal Secular combine to seek support.
The Congress-JDS alliance has accused the BJP of trying to bribe, abduct and threaten their lawmakers. It was this fear that had forced the opposition to keep their lawmakers on the move, and finally shifting them out of the state when Mr Yeddyurappa became Chief Minister.
Over the last two days, the Congress also released three audio tapes that it alleges are recording of phone calls made by, or authorised by senior BJP leaders.
These calls and other attempts to bribe opposition lawmakers in Karnataka, Mr Gandhi said, had been sanctioned by the BJP president and PM Modi.
But this was in line with what, he alleged, PM Modi had been doing all this while. "He is doing everything to subvert the nation," Mr Gandhi said.
"Did you notice that after the entire exercise in the assembly in Karnataka, the BJP legislators and Chief Minister chose to get up and leave the house before the National Anthem," Mr Gandhi said, calling it a reflection of what the Congress had been fighting.
"The idea that you can rubbish every single institution .... Simply because you are in power," he said, hoping that the turn of events in Karnataka would hopefully have shown to the BJP that this wasn't right.
This is something that the BJP, and the RSS have been doing to one institution after another.
"There is no institution which is worthy of the respect of PM Modi and Amit Shah. They believe every single institution can be stepped on," Mr Gandhi said, suggesting that Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala had carried out orders from Delhi when he invited Mr Yeddyurappa to form a minority government.