Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (April 27) held a video conferencing with BJP workers in poll-bound Karnataka and exhorted them to strengthen booth-level campaigning for upcoming polls.
Exuding confidence that the BJP will return to power in the state, the prime minister said it was evident from the reception party leaders were receiving during campaigning.
Hits out at Congress, slams ‘revdi culture’
Taking a dig at the Congress, the prime minister made a strong pitch for ending “revdi culture” (culture of distributing freebies), while hinting that the Grand Old Party’s ‘guarantees’ have no meaning when its own warranty itself has expired.
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“People of Himachal are waiting for their election guarantee. Rajasthan people are now protesting after four years. Congress is in such a state that it can’t give any guarantee. Congress means only the guarantee of corruption and lies. What guarantee will it give? Its warranty has expired,” he was quoted as saying.
For Karnataka polls, the Congress has announced guarantees that include 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), ₹2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), ₹3,000 every month for graduate youth and ₹1,500 for diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (YuvaNidhi), on coming to power in the state.
Modi said freebies were a main cause for pushing states into huge debts and said the country and governments cannot be run like this.
“In our country some political parties have made politics the means of power and corruption. To achieve this, they are using all means like saam, daam, dand, bhed (the method of reward and punishment). These political parties don’t think about the future of the country, future generation of Karnataka, its youth, women,” Modi said.
He said, because of freebie politics, several states are making large scale spending for the sake of partisan politics, which is also eating into the “share” of future generations.
“The country cannot be run like this, governments cannot be run like this. Governments have to think about the future, along with the present. Governments cannot run just for day-to-day needs, they have to work on asset creation, so that the lives of families are on track for decades,” he added during the “Karyakartarondige Samvada” (an interaction with workers).
‘Touch base with voters, spend an hour at every house’
During the interaction, Modi advised party workers to form a strong group of 10 men and women each, asking them to pay door-to-door visits to families and telling them about the work of the BJP government at the state and the centre. He said the team should jot down all the information in a diary and spend at least an hour with every family.
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“If you put a wheel of a Maruti car into a tractor, will that work? No. A uniform system like a double-engine government will ensure development. Tell these small things to people. You don’t need to give long speeches – that is the responsibility of other people,” the prime minister said.
Modi’s address was part of the party’s effort to boost its campaign for the May 10 Assembly polls. The party said earlier this week about 50 lakh workers from 58,112 booths would attend this “virtual rally” of the prime minister.
The state BJP is looking to Modi to bolster its campaign. The prime minister is slated to undertake a whirlwind two-day tour of the state from Saturday (April 29) during which he is scheduled to address six public meetings and hold two road-shows.
‘BJP more concerned about India’s future’
Modi said the BJP was not taking the shortcuts, but was working for developed India.
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“BJP doesn’t think about five years of its own rule, but thinks about the country. We don’t think about the party but think about the country. We don’t think just about present electoral politics but about taking India ahead in the next 25 years,” he said.
“To address some temporary challenges, all possible help is being provided for the poor, like free ration, free vaccination, he said and added that it is the duty of the government, but if we have to make India progress, we have to get rid of this revdi culture,” he said.
“I appeal to youth, some parties may try to make you fools by distributing freebies, but it’s your duty to think about your future and that of your future generations,” he added.
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(With inputs from agencies)