Bengaluru, May 10 (UNI) Congress President Rahul Gandhi Thursday asserted that his party will retain power in Karnataka after the May 12 Assembly polls and there is no question of discussing an alternative strategy.
He was responding to a question on the possibility of a fractured mandate at a crowded press conference. He said that Congress is fighting the election with a clear vision and for good future of the State and also on the strength of the achievements of the five year rule of Siddaramaiah. ”But our opponents indulged in personal attacks against Mr Siddaramaiah, Mr Mallikarjun Kharge and me”, he alleged.
He said that the BJP was attempting to infuse the RSS ideology into Karnataka and the Congress would not allow it to happen.
Replying to a question about Mr Modi criticising his comments on becoming Prime Minister post 2019 general elections, Mr Gandhi said ”This elections has nothing to do with Rahul Gandhi. It is about Karnataka’s future and I will not Indulge him. We will not get distracted by whatever he says while bringing out his anger”. He added : ”On the one side there Mr siddaramaiah and on the otherside you have Yeddyurappa and the Reddy brothers who defrauded the State of Rs 35,000 crore”.
He refuted the charges that the Karnataka government was doing nothing for the welfare of Dailts and said that the Central Government had not even spent half the amount on Dailts in the entire country when compared to the amount spent by the Siddaramaiah government. He said it was natural for the Congress to raise issues relating to the failure of the Central government on issues relating to Dalits. ”Rohit Vemula was killed and Modi did not speak. Innocent Dallits were killed in Unnao and other parts of the country and Modi did not speak anything,. it is our job to raise such issues in the election”.
He asked what Mr Modi did to come to the rescue of farmers in distress in Karnataka, while the State government waived off farm loans of over Rs 8500 crore, Mr Modi refused to waive even a single rupee he said. Atrocities and women is absolutely a political issue and they were raised during elections.
Defending his visit to religious places, he said as a leader of a political party it was his job to stand with them. ”whoever invites me I will go there because I respect their beliefs, but I will not visit an institution that spreads hated and violence. I have been visiting religious institutions for 15 years but they are not comfortable. BJP does not understand Hindusim and that shows in statements such dubbing him as an election Hindu”. He said Hinduism is a feeling, a way of life.
Mr Gandhi also defended Mr Siddaramaiah’s move to provide religious status to Lingayats and said there was a difference between empowering a community and crushing a community. While BJP is crushing it, the Congress was empowering them, he added
When asked about his views on the Prime Minister’s assurance that the Mahadayi issue would be resolved post elections, Mr Gandhi said it is for the Prime Minister to resolve it and we would stand by it.
When asked his reaction about Mr Modi’s comments that the Rafale deal was beneficial to the country, He said ”the deal was very good for the Prime Minister and his business man friend who has Rs.45000 crore in debt and who has never built an aircraft. the deal would snatch jobs away from Karnataka”.