"Karnataka 2023 Has No Implications On India 2024": Union Minister To NDTV

Rajeev Chandrasekhar also took a swipe at the Congress for its pre-poll promises, alleging that the party fails to deliver on them later.

He accused the Congress of treating Bengaluru as an "exploitation opportunity" when in power.


Karnataka 2023 has no implication on India 2024, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said today in an interview with NDTV, downplaying the Congress's huge electoral victory in the southern state. He said the people want to move forward with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of inclusive development, and the state poll loss won't dampen the ruling party's prospects in next year's general elections. 2024 is a foregone conclusion, and PM Modi will continue to govern the country to its destiny, he said.

"Anyone who is a sane observer of the progress India has made in the last nine years, compared to the 65 years before that, will ever have an inkling of doubt about which way the country wants to go, which way the people of the country want to move. We are on a path to becoming the third-largest economy in the world, to creating opportunities for each and every Indian without discrimination, regardless of religion, and we are embarking on that path," he said.

Mr Chandrasekhar slammed the grand old party's social welfare guarantees before elections, terming them as "revdi" (freebies) -- a term often used by the PM to criticise opposition parties offering subsidies and social security schemes to the people at the cost of the state.

This type of revdi economics is extremely dangerous, especially after Chief Minister BS Bommai and his government rebuilt the Karnataka economy after Covid, the minister said, estimating that the promises of the Congress government will lead to additional spending every year of around Rs 60,000 crore.

"This means, essentially, that future generations of Kannadiga will have to incur and repay the debt that is being borrowed today by the Congress government. I think it's certainly not a good thing for the state, certainly not a good thing for anyone who thinks about the future of the state, and it's certainly not a good thing for the youth of the state who'd be bearing the weight of that debt," he told NDTV.

Mr Chandrasekhar also took a swipe at the Congress for its pre-poll promises, alleging that the party fails to deliver on them later.

On the BJP's performance in the capital Bengaluru, the minister said the metro city has responded "very significantly" this time to the call for a decisive majority. "Unfortunately, that didn't work for the rest of Karnataka. But I am pleased and happy, and proud that Bangaloreans have seen that the future is best under a BJP government even though we couldn't make the mark on the elections," he said.

Calling Bengaluru very important, not just for Karnataka, but for the "overall India story vision that the Prime Minister is scripting", he stressed that Bengaluru must move out of the "urban chaos and exploitation that we have seen for several years and decades", and that it moves to modern governance, creating "ease of living for all" of its citizens and residents.

He accused the Congress of treating Bengaluru as an "exploitation opportunity" when in power in the state.

"Over the last 65 years, when Congress has governed Karnataka, it has always looked at Bengaluru as an exploitation opportunity. I'm not holding my breath, about Congress being able to deliver anything," he said.

Responding to a question on the rivalry between Chief Minister-designate Siddaramaiah and his to-be deputy DK Shivakumar, he called the two leaders "poster boys of everything that is wrong with Karnataka politics".

"Both represent very different types of politics that we should be walking away from, and moving towards a new type of politics. They are both two sides of the same coin, and the coin is rampant corruption. There is a tremendous amount of exploitation of public money and public resources. Whether it is mining, or contracts, both these leaders have an illustrious, long-standing track record, including masquerading as socialists but wearing a Rs 70 lakh watch," Rajeev Chandrasekhar said.