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PM Modi Warms Up to JD(S), Chastises Rahul Gandhi for ‘Insulting Tallest Leader’ Deve Gowda

Modi's remarks assume significance as they come after most pollsters predicted a fractured verdict in the Assembly elections, with no party attaining a majority on its own.

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Updated:May 1, 2018, 11:55 PM IST
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PM Modi Warms Up to JD(S), Chastises Rahul Gandhi for ‘Insulting Tallest Leader’ Deve Gowda
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally in Udupi on Tuesday, ahead of Karnataka polls. (PTI Photo)
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Udupi (Karnataka): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday showerd praise on former Prime Minister Deve Gowda at an election rally in poll-bound Karnataka and lashed out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for "insulting" the JD(S) supremo.

In remarks that raised eyebrows in political circles, PM Modi said that Deve Gowda was one of the most respected and tallest leaders for whom he had great respect, and Gandhi's remarks on him showed his "arrogance".

"I heard the Congress president speak at political rallies 15-20 days ago....the way he referred to respected Deve Gowda ji....is this your culture (sanskar)? This is arrogance,” the PM said.

"Your life (as Congress chief) has just begun. Deve Gowda is among the tallest leaders of the country. You are insulting him," Modi said.

The Prime Minister was alluding to Gandhi's speeches at his rallies in JD(S) strongholds where he attacked Deve Gowda, and called his party the "B Team" of the BJP.

Modi's remarks assume significance as they come after most pollsters predicted a fractured verdict in the Assembly elections, with no party attaining a majority on its own.

JD(S) state unit chief H D Kumaraswamy had earlier claimed he would be the king after the polls and not the kingmaker.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has often accused the BJP and JD(S) of having a tacit understanding, and even claimed that Kumaraswamy had met the saffron party chief Amit Shah, a charge dismissed by the JD(S).

His father Deve Gowda, however, told a TV channel that he and his family would disown Kumaraswamy if he joins hands with the BJP.

"You think about it. If his temperament is such... whose arrogance is on cloud seven...it is just the beginning of life...if he is doing this from today, how bad the coming days will be you will get to know from his deeds," Modi said, attacking Gandhi.

The Prime Minister said the Congress party, with such "arrogant" leaders, is a "big threat" to democracy. He urged the electorate to ensure that Mahatma Gandhi's dream was fulfilled, reminding them of the Father of the Nation's insistence on disbanding the Congress after Independence.

Noting that there would be differences in politics, he said, "There is something called decorum in public life. Every person may have his own ego, but in social life there are certain values."

Speaking about the respect he has for the former PM, Modi referred to Deve Gowda as "the son of this land, and a farmer's son".

"Whenever he comes to meet me in Delhi, I make it a point to receive him at the entrance of my home...open the door of the car for him. I also see him off up to his car," he said.

Modi said he does that in spite of the fact that their ideologies are different and Deve Gowda's party votes against his government in Parliament.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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