Hubballi (Karnataka) [India], May 6 (ANI): Addressing an election rally in poll-bound Karnataka’s Hubballi district on Saturday, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was perturbed by the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra as it was carried out against ‘those spreading hatred.’
Sonia Gandhi said that Bharat Jodo Yatra was done against those people who are spreading hatred in the country and the BJP got perturbed by it. “Bharat Jodo Yatra was done against people who do only one work which is spreading hatred. Such people can never bring any development in Karnataka. BJP got perturbed by Bharat Jodo Yatra”, Sonia said.
#WATCH | Hubballi, Karnataka: Bharat Jodo Yatra was done against people who do only one work which is spreading hatred. Such people can never bring any development in Karnataka. BJP got perturbed by Bharat Jodo Yatra. The people of BJP don’t give reply to any questions. They… pic.twitter.com/axFumxT0Vy
— ANI (@ANI) May 6, 2023
She alleged that the BJP leaders never answer any questions. “They (BJP) think democratic principles are in their pockets. Does democracy work like this?” she added.
The former Congress president also alleged that BJP’s leaders give open threats like if the party loses in the elections then Karnataka will not get PM Modi’s ‘blessings’.
“Without getting rid of the kind of atmosphere created by the loot, lies, arrogance and hatred of the BJP government, neither Karnataka can progress nor the country can progress. These people give threats openly like if BJP loses elections then Karnataka will not get PM Modi’s blessings. I want to tell them that Karnataka’s people are not so cowardly & greedy but trust their hard work and stand on their ideals. According to them (BJP) people’s future is dependent on the blessings of the government”, Sonia said.
कर्नाटक भगवान बसवन्ना, महाकवि कुवेम्पु की धरती है लेकिन BJP इन सभी की भावनाओं का रोज अपमान कर रही है।
आप राजनीतिक स्वार्थ पूरे करने के लिए कर्नाटक और देश को तबाही के रास्ते पर मत ले जाइए।
सामाजिक सद्भाव बनाए रखने, विकास, लूटपाट और कमीशन मुक्त कर्नाटक के लिए आपका एकमात्र भरोसा… pic.twitter.com/Fb74H7AAve
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 6, 2023
Sonia Gandhi has not campaigned in any state elections in the recent past. The former Congress president did the last election rally in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in her parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli. She gave a speech at the Bharat Bachao rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on December 14, 2019.
Karnataka has a long connection with the Nehru-Gandhi family and has been a “comeback territory” in the past. Indira Gandhi made a political comeback from Chikmagalur in Karnataka in a bypoll in 1978. Sonia Gandhi also fought from Ballari in the state in her debut election in which she was also in the fray from Amethi.
Karnataka is crucial for Congress as it can mark its revival for the 2024 Lok Sabha election. If BJP is defeated in Karnataka, the party will not be in power in any southern state.
— Congress (@INCIndia) May 6, 2023
With Rahul Gandhi having been disqualified from Lok Sabha following his conviction in a criminal defamation case and the election debacles Congress faced in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress is pinning strong hopes on Karnataka where it has strong state leadership.
The party feels that a win in Karnataka will give it a massive boost to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the 2024 general elections and emerge as a fulcrum of opposition unity.
Rahul Gandhi has so far held 17 rallies and roadshows in Karnataka, while his sister Priyanka Gandhi has done 19 rallies.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also in the State as a star campaigner for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), addressed a gathering in Badami. During his speech, PM Modi lashed out at the Congress party over corruption, saying that since the BJP’s double-engine government has put a stop to the Congress party’s corruption, they have resorted to abusing him.
Hitting out at former CM Siddaramaiah, the Prime Minister said that the basic facilities had not reached the poor in the Bagalkote region. “Siddaramaiah has stopped campaigning in this constituency because he has understood the wave. But, people should ask him, why the poor people in the Bagalkote region were deprived of all the basic facilities. More than 3 lakh people received tap water from our government. Houses were sanctioned for more than 25000 people. More than 6 lakh people received health cover under Ayushman Bharat. 7 lakh people received benefits of Mudra Yojana,” he said.
Karnataka will go to polls on May 10 and the votes will be counted on May 13.