Karnataka polls: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hits out at PM Modi for ignoring ‘real’ issues of people

She said BJP leaders including PM Modi were always talking about extremism and national security when elections were around the corner.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 07, 2023 | 10:09 PMUpdatedMay 07, 2023 | 10:16 PM

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressing election rally in Karnataka. (Twitter)

With only a day left for the campaigns ahead of the 10 May Assembly polls in Karnataka, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for always talking about extremism and national security in election time instead of focusing on people’s issues.

“Corruption, looting, price rise and unemployment are the real “terrorism” in Karnataka today and the ruling BJP had failed to address the actual issues of people while the party was in power,” she said.

Addressing a huge public meeting at Moodbidri in Dakshina Kannada district, she said BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi were always talking about extremism and national security when elections were round the corner.

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‘Not talking about people’s issues’

“They are not talking about your (people’s) real issues. I want to tell the BJP leaders that price rise, unemployment and the 40 percent corruption of the BJP government are the real extremism,” she said.

She said the BJP was making promises at the time of the elections, but the people should cast their votes based on what they had delivered in the last three years in Karnataka.

“While talking about dharma, national security and terrorism, the BJP leaders do not see that thousands of farmers had committed suicide in Karnataka under their rule. More than 1,000 unemployed youth have taken their own lives,” she charged.

“It is the terrorism of corruption ruling the country,” the Congress leader said.

Vadra alleged that as BJP is busy indulging in looting the nation’s wealth, they have no time to address the issues of women’s development, farmers’ problems, price rise and unemployment among the youth.

“They don’t work for the people when they are in power and visit them during the elections by preaching on dharma, terrorism and security,” she said.

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‘BJP looted ₹6 lakh crore’

The BJP government had looted ₹6 lakh crore during their rule, she alleged. Medium and small industries in the state have suffered big losses after demonetisation and wrong implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and thousands of youth were rendered jobless.

The Union government had destroyed the idea of bank nationalisation by merging four public sector banks Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank, Corporation Bank and Canara Bank which were the pride of Mangaluru, she said.

Vadra said all the airports and seaports in the country including the New Mangalore Port were being sold to crorepatis who are the friends of the BJP regime at the Centre, thereby denying employment to thousands of local people.

“The BJP is now trying to destroy dairy cooperative Karnataka Milk Federation’s Nandini milk brand which has been serving the people of Karnataka by merging it with Amul which is based out of Gujarat,” she charged.

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Modi endorses ‘The Kerala Story’

The shower of criticism by Vadra came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, endorsed the views presented by the controversial film The Kerala Story.

Even as the movie’s makers told the Kerala High Court that they would remove the claims that “32,000 women from Kerala” were recruited to the Islamic State group, Modi endorsed the movie that is accused of being a propaganda tool to defame Kerala and vilify interfaith marriages.

The Kerala Story became ammunition for PM Modi to mount attacks on the Congress as he accused the rival political party of “nurturing, giving shelter, and surrendering before terror for the sake of vote-bank politics”.

He said the movie was said to be a work based on the terrorists’ deceitful policies and conspiracies in just one state and accused the Congress of indulging in backdoor political bargaining with people having terror inclinations.

The attack on the Congress with “terrorism” as a stick came after the party’s manifesto put the now-banned outfit PFI and RSS-affiliate Bajrang Dal in the same box and called for a ban on it.

Modi also tried to raise a “law and order” bogey with The Kerala Story and terrorism pitch in tow.

“To make Karnataka the number one state in the country, law and order is important. Karnataka remaining free from terror is equally important. The BJP has always been harsh against terror. But whenever action is taken against terror, the Congress gets a stomach ache,” Modi said.

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‘All people-friendly schemes would be restored’

Vadra said all the people-friendly schemes of the previous Congress government in the state including low-cost food outlets in Indira canteens would be restored. Every promise in the guarantee card given to the people would be fulfilled, she said.

For the Karnataka Assembly election, Congress has announced five ‘guarantees’ 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), ₹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 ₹3,000 every month for graduate youth and ₹1,500 for diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (Yuva Nidhi), along with the promise of free travel for women in public transport buses upon coming to power in the state.

Vadra said Congress governments in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan had implemented their promises made to farmers and pensioners in their respective poll manifestos.

The Congress would also introduce a ₹10 lakh insurance scheme for fishermen and ₹1 lakh interest-free loan for fisherwomen as part of the ‘Stand with Mogaveera’ scheme, she said, adding that the diesel subsidy for fisherfolk would be increased.

Mogaveera is a major fishing community living predominantly in coastal Karnataka.

The Opposition Congress is going all out to wrest power from the ruling BJP in the state with polling set to take place on 10 May. The results will be declared on 13 May.

(With PTI inputs)