Ahead of Karnataka assembly elections, PM Narendra Modi addressed a rally today.
Bengaluru: Sharing stage with BJP's prospective Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially launched his campaign in Karnataka today with a sharp attack on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. There was speculation that the Prime Minister will not share stage with Mr Yeddyurappa in view of Congress attacks over corruption charges against the former Chief Minister. Santhemarahalli, where the first of the day's three rallies were held, is a Congress stronghold. The PM's whirlwind programme is part of the huge BJP push to wrest the only state it ruled in the south from the Congress.
Here are the top 10 updates in this big story:
- Beginning his address with a few words in Kannada, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said before coming to the state, he was aware only of a BJP wave. "Now I see it is much more than that. There is a storm in favour of the BJP," he said.
- PM Modi attacked Rahul Gandhi over multiple issues - his 15-minute debate challenge, dynasty politics, successive Congress governments' failure to bring electricity to villages and even his mother tongue, which, he indicated was Italian.
- "Rahul-ji, you are naamdaar (one with a big name), we are kaamdaar (focussed on work)... the Congress ministers and their children are fighting elections too -- that's one plus one formula. Family politics is hurting Karnataka," the Prime Minister said.
- In the speech, delivered in Hindi and translated simultaneously in Kannada, PM Modi also attacked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. "The Chief Minister, in his manifesto, says he will strengthen the Lokayukta office. I want to ask the CM, what were you doing for the last 5 years? Once we assume power, we will reinstate Lokayukta and restart all investigations of corruption against CM and his coterie," PM Modi said.
- The rally was being held in Chamrajnagar -- a constituency said to be jinxed for Chief Ministers. Since the 80s, any chief minister visiting Chamrajnagara has lost his seat. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, whose government is waging war against superstition, has visited the area more than 10 times.
- Later in Udupi, he took on the Congress government in the state over the killing of BJP workers. "Over two dozen BJP workers have been killed in Karnataka. Their crime was they fought for the people of Karnataka. I want to ask the Congress -- Is it acceptable to kill those who have a different ideology?" he said.
- Five senior leaders of the Congress and their sons or daughters are contesting in the coming elections, which has drawn BJP barbs over dynastic politics.
- Sources in the BJP have said the party denied ticket to Mr Yeddyurappa's son BY Vijayendra, who was expecting to contest from a seat in the Mysuru region, as the party's central leadership felt it would draw counter-attacks on dynastic politics from the Congress.
- Opinion polls have predicted that neither the Congress nor the BJP will have clear majority in the election and would be unable to form government on their own. It would make the regional party Janata Dal Secular, led by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, a chance to be the deciding factor.
- Along with the PM, Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will address over 60 rallies in Karnataka. The results of voting for the 224 assembly seats in Karnataka will be declared on May 15.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. Election results will be out on May 23.