Amid attempts by Opposition leaders to rally in support of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi following his disqualification as a member of the Lok Sabha on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the BJP has transformed the 'Politics of Perception' in the country into the 'Politics of Performance', adding that the country had been mired in "dirty politics" for years.
Rahul Gandhi's was disqualified from the Lower House followed his conviction in a 2019 criminal defamation case.
Addressing the Vijaya Sankalp Yatre Maha Sangama at Devanagere in poll-bound Karnataka on Saturday, PM Modi said, "Our country had been mired in dirty politics for years. What prevailed in the country then was the politics of allegation and blame game. But since coming to power, the BJP has transformed the 'Politics of Perception' in the country into the 'Politics of Performance'."
Taking the attack to the Opposition in the southern state, which the BJP considers as its gateway to the South, PM Modi said, "Karnataka saw and suffered opportunistic and selfish governments for a long time, which affected its progress. That is why a stable government of the BJP is the need of the hour, in the interest of the state's development."
"Karnataka has made up its mind to bring back the double-engine government in the state. The BJP has put development on fast-track. Therefore, the need of the hour is for the BJP to return to power in the interest of taking Karnataka to development and prosperity," he added.
Launching a scathing attack on the Congress, he said, "BJP wants to make Karnataka the driving force for a developed India. However, the Congress sees Karnataka as merely a means to fill the pockets of some of its leaders."
"Congress says 'Modi Teri Qabr Khudegi' but they don't know that the people of Karnataka have a dream, which is 'Modi Tera Kamal Khilega," the PM Modi added.
He said, "Our (Karnataka) government has been empowering the Dalits, poor, women and the oppressed sections. Ours has been a pro-poor government."
"Karnataka had seen years of governance by selfish and opportunistic alliances. Such governments inflicted grave harm to the state," he added.
Before the rally, PM Modi held a mega road show during which a huge crowd lined the streets chanting his name and showering him with petals.
The term of the existing Karnataka Assembly is due to expire on May 24. An official announcement of the poll schedule by the Election Commission is expected soon.
The ruling BJP and the Opposition Janata Dal (Secular) have already intensified their poll campaigns in the southern state.
The polls are being seen as an acid test for the beleaguered Congress, which is desperate to turn around its electoral fortune ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)