Karnataka elections: BJP asks Congress to debate local issues

Glen Norman
February 26, 2018

Accusing the All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi of spreading misinformation about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national general secretary in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka, Muralidhar Rao, on Sunday described it as a diversionary tactic to cover up the failures of Siddaramaiah government. He alleged that during Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's tenure, around 3,781 farmers across the state had committed suicide.

Continuing his attack, Gandhi said, "The next time Prime Minister Modi comes to Karnataka, ask him if he believes in Basavanna's policy of 'practice what you preach'". She had questioned why her son Nivedith and the grandson of former Union minister C. K. Jaffer Sharief were not given nominations while relatives of two dozen leaders were given tickets in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.

Rahul claimed that he Congress government in Karnataka has run a clean administration in the last five years, as opposed to the erstwhile BJP regime which had been mired in corruption and controversy. The Chief Minister responded that 8,000 crores worth loan can be waived off.

"You have adequate money to waive corporate loans of Rs. 17,15,000 crore and don't have money to waive farm loans of Rs. 12,60,000 crore".

He said the Central government's healthcare scheme would benefit 10 crore poor famililes providing insurance coverage up to Rs 500,000 per family per year.

The Gandhi scion also slammed the Prime Minister over failing education, health facilities in the BJP-ruled states like Gujarat.

Gandhi also flagged off a half marathon, "Vrukshathon" 2018, at the Gol Gumbaz, in Karnataka's Bijapur.

"Modi vowed deposits of Rs 15 lakh in each bank account by bringing back black money stashed overseas". Gandhi went to temples and religious institutions known for their multi-religious and secular outlook on his four-day tour, but Shah took another tack and visited the famed Gurudwara in Bidar city and the Buddha vihar at Renukalgi, subtly underlining the BJP support to other minorities. On the first day, he addressed a rally at Athani in Belgaum district, besides other events.

Assembly polls are expected to be held in Karnataka between April-May this year.

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