Karnataka polls | BJP-RSS attacking democracy, spreading hatred: Rahul

Expressing confidence about coming to power, the former party president said the Congress government’s first cabinet meeting will take a decision on implementing its poll guarantees

Rahul Gandhi, Bidar district, Karnataka assembly elections, Karnataka elections 2023
Sources said Rahul Gandhi has been on a hunt for a space to set up his independent office. File photo

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the ruling BJP and RSS of attacking democracy and spreading hatred and violence in the country.

Addressing a public meeting at Bhalki in Karnataka, Rahul also appealed the people to support the Congress and ensure that the party wins at least 150 seats in the May 10 Assembly polls in Karnataka, and comes to power with a full majority.

“Bidar is Basavanna’s (12th century social reformer) karma bhoomi. If someone first spoke about democracy and showed the path towards democracy it was Basavanna. It is sad that today across the country, people from RSS and BJP are attacking democracy,” he said. He alleged that BJP and RSS are attacking Basavanna’s ideals of equal partnership, equal opportunities, and that everyone should move ahead together.

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“They are spreading hatred and violence in Hindustan, and they are taking away money from poor and weaker section people and giving it to two or three rich people,” he added.

‘Will implement poll guarantees’

Expressing confidence about coming to power, Rahul said the Congress government’s first cabinet meeting will take a decision on implementing its poll guarantees. The party has announced four poll guarantees — 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), and Rs 3,000 every month for graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (YuvaNidhi), on coming to power in the state. “Our poll guarantees will help Karnataka’s poor, farmers, small traders and those in need and not two to three super rich like Adani,” he said.

Noting that he raised questions on BJP’s “corruption” in Parliament, Rahul said he only asked Narendra Modi as to what was his relationship with Adani that he has given India’s ports, airports and complete resources to one person, following which he was disqualified as Lok Sabha MP. He alleged that his mikes were switched off in the Parliament and that he was not allowed to speak. “They are so scared about me questioning them about corruption in Parliament, that they have removed me from Parliament,” he added.

Rakes up 40% commission issue

Accusing the BJP government in Karnataka of rampant corruption and “40% commission”, the former AICC president said when the contractors association wrote a letter in this regard to PM Modi, who makes speeches against corruption, there is no answer to it so far.

Listing out alleged corruption scandals in the state like those relating to Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited, jobs, PSI recruitment scam, Rahul said the PM says in his speeches that he is against corruption, but is “quiet” on what is happening in Karnataka. “They (BJP govt) are taking 40 per cent commission, give them (only) 40 seats this time,” he said.

Also read: Karnataka CM hits back at Rahul Gandhi on ‘40% commission sarkar’ jibe

Suggesting that BJP “uses the money looted from people through corruption to buy MLAs”, Rahul urged people to ensure that Congress wins at least 150 seats, because they (BJP) will make attempts to buy MLAs.

He also urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the 2011 census caste-based OBC categorisation data in the public domain, and also demanded the 50% cap on reservation be removed. “Modi only speaks about OBCs, but will not release the data, but the Congress will do it soon after coming to power,” he added.

AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala (in-charge of Karnataka), KPCC working president and candidate from Bhalki Assembly seat Eshwar Khandre were among those present.