UDUPI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi changed his focus from corruption to crime and accused the ruling Congress of acquiring the dubious distinction of “Ease of doing murder” at a time when the BJP-led NDA government was concentrating on “Ease of doing business” here on Tuesday.
Mr Modi, who got wind of the fact that the audience liked his speech in Hindi rather than a translated version, sought to capitalize on the goodwill for the party in this temple town through compliments to talented people of the region during an election rally.
“Is there a place for violence in democracy? Is political difference resulting in murder agreeable? During this election, people of Karnataka who believe in democracy would question the state government. In the last four years, more than two dozen BJP workers have been killed. Their mistake was that they opposed your (Congress) principles and fought for citizens rights. Those who support violence should be ousted from power in Karnataka and India,” he told a rally of 50,000 odd people while hailing people such as Gururaj Poojary, who won a silver medal in the recent Commonwealth Games, and belongs to this region.
As part of his attack against the ruling Congress and party president Rahul Gandhi, Mr Modi wondered how a veteran politician and former prime minister like H.D. Deve Gowda could be the butt of ridicule during election rallies. “Mr Deve Gowdaji is our former Prime Minister and the son of the soil from this state. But the manner in which the Congress president spoke about Mr Deve Gowda during an election meeting about 15 days ago shows his culture. His political career has just started but Mr Deve Gowda is the senior most leader in parliament. If he (Rahul) acts like this now, we all know how he will behave in the future. Congress and such arrogance are dangerous for democracy,” he added.
The PM also attempted to connect the importance of this temple town and its bond with the party and his home state. “Lord Krishna has come from Dwaraka and naturally I (from Gujarat) have a link with this place,” adding “When our flag could not be seen in the country 40 years ago, it was Udupi which made Jana Sangh win the town municipality elections. The municipality under Jana Sangh had several achievements to its credit. Thus Jana Sangh, Udupi and BJP have close link in achievements and success.” In retaliation to Congress leaders' allegation that the BJP allowed the rich to loot banks, Mr Modi blamed the Congress for keeping banking away from youth and the needy.
“Shouldn’t bank money be used for the youth? Earlier, the government provided money only to their favorite people who looted banks. But youth who wanted to achieve by taking loan were asked guarantee. The doors of banks were closed to such people, The Congress which was in power did not help the youth through banks. However after we came to power we have provided the bank money to the talented, enterprenurship youths through projects like PM Mudra Yojna,” he added.
He also attacked the state government for its alleged support to the sand mafia: “We know that the mafia is thriving. But the new one in the list is sand mafia and people of Udupi know about it very well. The High Court of Karnataka had taken the state government to task on this issue. Poor people have to purchase two bags of sand in black market. Sand Mafia is so strong,” he said and blamed those in the ruling responsible for this. The government supports the mafia, and those who violate law and order are in prominent position. This is the time to change the situation,” he added.