Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken an offensive stance in Karnataka election rallies. The huge turnouts in the rallies have helped PM Modi in his bid to ensure victory for BS Yeddyurappa and BJP in the upcoming elections. Targeting the Congress leaders, PM Modi has taken an attacking stance and has raked up their crimes in order to expose their shady past. From the incumbent Siddaramaiah to the Congress party President Rahul Gandhi, nobody has been able to escape the wrath of PM Modi and his hard hitting statements. His speeches have resonated with the masses who have been affirming their faith in PM Modi by coming out in great numbers at every successive rally. The Congress leadership has been left stunned by this offensive approach of PM Modi. Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi are professionals at playing baseless blame games but they appear clueless when they are at the receiving end of facts based accusations. The silence of Congress’ Siddaramaiah and Rahul Gandhi explains that they have no viable excuses for all the accusations levelled against them. The Congress, therefore, has been trying to rouse up feelings of Kannada identity, religious and caste based divisions in order to counter the harsh words of PM Modi. To make matters worse, statements and sentiments of PM Modi are being readily echoed by people of Karnataka.
The first statement of PM Modi which caused troubles for the Congress was regarding the National Herald case. For the first time PM Modi referred to the National Herald case involving Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. PM Modi directly accused the Congress leadership of being corrupt by mentioning “mother and son who are out on bail” in the “Rs 5,000 crore scam.” The second salvo fired by PM Modi exposed Congress’ dirty politics over National Security. He mentioned in the same rally that the Congress leaders were ill-equipped to take on the BJP. He used the public stage to warn the Congress leaders about their recent attempts to malign the surgical strikes and for breaking the decorum of public life. His statement, “Congress ke neta kaan kholkar ke sun lijiye. Agar seemaon ko paar karoge, tho yeh Modi hain, lene ke dene pad jayenge.” (Congress leaders should listen to this carefully, this is (PM) Modi you are talking about. If you dare cross the line, you will feel the wrath), is enough to demonstrate the anger in the heart of PM Modi for Congress leaders who have resorted to demeaning behaviour in the pre-polling days.
Extending his pointed attacks, PM Modi’s third strike on Congress was related to the so-called ‘Angry Hanuman’ sketch. PM Modi also extended support to the designer of ‘Angry Hanuman’ sketch, Karan Acharya. Acharya had earlier been targeted by the Congress leaders for his portrayal of ‘Hanuman with attitude’. PM Modi praised the artist and his artwork by mentioning it as the “pride of Mangaluru.” He slammed the Congress Party for criticising Acharya’s art by saying, “The Congress’ ecosystem doesn’t even tolerate the magnificent art of Karan Acharya whose Hanuman captured the imagination of the entire country. Unable to digest its success, the Congress tried miring it in a controversy. There is no iota of democracy in the minds of Congress members.”
The Congress could barely cope with three consecutive hits when the PM fired the fourth shot. The people of Karnataka, attending the rallies, have echoed the sentiments of PM Modi. In a rally where PM Modi started talking about how Congress had been wiped out in elections held in various states in the recent past, the people joined him in saying how the Congress failed. The ‘Congress gayi’ statement of PM Modi was repeated by people at the rally after each state was mentioned. Starting from Maharashtra to Chhattisgarh every state’s name was followed by loud shouts of “Congress gayi” by the people. PM Modi mentioned how Karnataka was the next state to be facing elections and the people once again responded with “Congress gayi.”
The PM continued his offensive with the fifth and final shot at Congress’ mismanagement of Karnataka, particularly the toxic level of waste in a lake in Bengaluru. PM Modi criticized Karnataka Congress leaders for the mismanagement in the state. He used the Bengaluru’s Bellandur Lake as an example to target the incompetency of the Congress leaders. His accusations were aimed at the Siddaramaiah regime which had failed hopelessly in the state. The Bellandur Lake is an example of how the Congress has functioned in the state. The once thriving ecosystem of the Bellandur Lake has become toxic, just like the rest of Karnataka under Siddaramaiah’s reign. He cited as to how the INC had transformed Bengaluru, the city of lakes, into a “city of burning lakes.” It was a subtle hint to the many instances of mismanagement in the state from the deteriorating law and order situation to the farmer crisis in the state. Bellandur Lake is a symbol of everything which is wrong in the state of Karnataka today.
PM Modi and his words have made the INC leaders running for cover. These statements have made an impact in the hearts of public in Karnataka. The effects of these will be shown in the results of the Karnataka elections. The wipe-out of INC and the subsequent BJP win will show that the people agree with PM Modi and his stance on the issues at hand in Karnataka.