Congress has abused me 91 times: PM Modi at Karnataka poll rally

PM Modi also accuses Congress of abusing the Lingayats, Babasaheb Ambedkar, and Veer Savarkar

Congress abused Modi 91 times
PM Modi speaks in Karnataka’s Humnabad on Saturday | Video grab: Twitter/ANI

Taking a dig at the Congress over party president Mallikarjun Kharge’s “venomous snake” barb at him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (April 29) said the party had hurled abuses at him on 91 different occasions.

Speaking in Karnataka’s Humnabad ahead of the May 10 assembly elections, he said people would respond to these abuses with votes, and no matter how much mud they sling at the BJP, the lotus will bloom. Modi is on his first visit to the state for campaigning after polls were declared on March 29.

PM Modi also accused the Congress of abusing the dominant Lingayat community in the state, Babasaheb Ambedkar, and Veer Savarkar.

Also read: BJP urges EC to file criminal case against Kharge for ‘poisonous snake’ remark

“The Congress hates everyone who speaks about the common man, who brings out their corruption, who attacks their politics of selfishness. Congress’s hate against such people will become permanent. In this election, too, the Congress has started abusing me once again,” Modi said.

Kharge’s ‘snake’ barb

Addressing a public rally at Humnabad in Bidar district, Modi said, “Someone has made a list of such abuses hurled at me, and it has been sent to me. Till now, Congress people have abused me 91 times and in different ways. Had they put the effort into good governance and boosting its workers’ morale instead of wasting time on this dictionary of abuses, Congress would not have been in such a pathetic plight.”

On Thursday (April 27), while making a speech at a campaign rally in Karnataka, Kharge likened Modi to a venomous snake. As a row erupted, he backtracked, stating that his intention was not to hurt anyone’s feelings and the “statement was not for PM Modi, but for the ideology he represents.”

Modi said: “Insulting those who work for the poor and the country is Congress’s history.”

“I’m not the only one who has been attacked like this. Last election, they ran a campaign “Chowkidar chor hai (the watchman is thief)”; then they said Modi chor; then they said OBC community is thief; and now just as the election season has started in Karnataka, they have showed the audacity of calling my Lingayat brothers and sisters chor.”

Also read: Karnataka polls: Amit Shah attacks Congress over Kharge’s venomous snake barb at PM

“Congress people listen with open ears, whenever you have abused someone, they have punished you in such a way that you have not been able to withstand it. This time, Karnataka has decided to respond to the abuses, the pain inflicted to their pride, through votes,” he said.

“Congress abused Ambedkar too”

Modi also claimed that the Congress had abused Babasaheb Ambedkar as well.

“Babasaheb Ambedkar himself had once said in detail that Congress abused him repeatedly. Congress had called Babasaheb Ambedkar ‘rakshas’ (demon), ‘rashtra drohi’ (traitor), ‘dagabaaz dost’ (unfaithful friend)…You will be shocked to hear it. Even today, we see how Congress abuses Veer Savarkar. Congress has abused stalwarts of this country,” he alleged.

“Looking at this, I feel Congress respects me like they did Ambedkar, Savarkar, as they abuse me in a similar way. I feel it is a gift to me. Let the Congress abuse me; I will continue to work for the country and its people. With your blessings, all their abuses will get mix into mud. Congress people understand, no matter how much mud you sling at us, the lotus will bloom,” he added.

Also read: Karnataka polls: Kharge regrets his ‘poisonous snake’ remark on Modi

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Union Minister Bhagawanth Khuba, among others, were also present at the rally.

(With agency inputs)