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Narendra Modi Slips ‘Mother Tongue’ Jibe in Counter Challenge to Rahul Gandhi

Speaking at an election rally in Chamarajanagara, PM Narendra Modi accused the Sidddaramaiah government, which he claimed was steeped in corruption, of thwarting the Centre's efforts for development.

Updated:May 1, 2018, 10:05 PM IST
Santemaranahalli (Karnataka): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched his campaign blitzkrieg in Karnataka with a scathing attack on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and daring him to list out the Congress government’s achievements “in Hindi, English or your mother’s mother tongue”, a reference to Sonia Gandhi’s Italian roots.

Speaking at an election rally in Chamarajanagara, Modi accused the Sidddaramaiah government, which he claimed was steeped in corruption, of thwarting the Centre's efforts for development.

Modi added that those currently leading the Congress had "no understanding" of history and the country's legacy. "I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of the party government... people of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion," he told the election rally.

Modi was responding to Rahul Gandhi's challenge to allow him to speak for 15 minutes in Parliament on various issues, including corruption, and that the prime minister will not be able to sit for 15 minutes.

"He speaking for 15 minutes will itself be a big thing. And when I hear that I would not be able to sit, I think... wow, what a scene… Congress president sir, we cannot sit before you. You are naamdar (famous), while I am kaamdar (ordinary worker). We have no status to sit in front of you," he said.

Addressing the first of the 15 election rallies he is scheduled to address over the next few days, Modi claimed, "A storm and not a simple wave" was blowing in the BJP's favour in the state.

Greeting the workers on the occasion of ‘May Day’, Modi also took a dig at Gandhi for not acknowledging the contribution of workers towards 100 per cent electrification of villages achieved under his government.

"April 28th is a day that will be written in golden" letters in country's history, because our hardworking people" made electricity reach the last unelectrified village Leisang in Manipur. But the new leader of the Congress did not utter two words of praise for the workers who made it possible," Modi said.

Modi, who last visited Karnataka for campaigning in February, will also be addressing rallies at in Udupi and Chikkodi in Belagavi.

Ahead of his Udupi rally, Modi is scheduled to visit Krishna Mutt and meet the senior seer there. At least a dozen rallies are expected to follow in the coming days.

Polling for the 224-member Karnataka Assembly will be held on May 12, and results will be declared on May 15.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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