Modi rules out hung Karnataka Assembly, bets on BJP win

Belagavi (Karnataka), May 2: Confident of a BJP victory in Karnataka too, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday ruled out a hung Assembly after the May 12 elections.

"There is no way there will be a hung Assembly as is being predicted. We are confident of coming to power in Karnataka too," said Modi at a huge public meeting in Karnataka's northwest region, about 500 km from Bengaluru.

Recalling that the Congress had lost nearly 12 states that it was ruling, Modi told the gathering that as that party feared a loss in the ensuing polls, its leaders were spreading lies and fear among the people about a hung Assembly.

Opinion polls by various agencies have projected a hung Assembly for the southern state with the ruling Congress or the opposition BJP having an edge in the 225-member legislative house, including one nominated.

"I appeal to you all to vote for a party with full majority. That is when you can hold the government responsible," Modi said.

Urging voters to bring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power under the leadership of its chief ministerial nominee B.S. Yeddyurappa, Modi said his party was ready to answer for its every action and be accountable to the people.

Yeddyurappa, 75, was the party's maiden Chief Minister in the state and south India when it was elected to power for the first time in May 2008, but lost to the Congress in the May 2013 Assembly elections after he split the BJP and formed the Karnataka Janata Party, leading to a division of votes.

The state's veteran politician of the dominant Lingayat community, however, returned to the BJP in 2014 and contested in the 2014 general elections, winning from the Shivamogga Lok Sabha constituency in the Malnad region.

Accusing the Congress government in the state of shielding sand mafias, Modi said those who loot cannot be accepted to remain in power. They must go," he reiterated.

"The Congress promotes intolerance and violence. There can be nothing worse than attack on the Lokayukta," charged Modi alluding to the knife attack on the state's anti-graft watchdog in Bengaluru on March 7.

State's Ombudsman Justice P. Vishwanatha Shetty, was stabbed in his office by a disturbed man for not getting a government order through a tender.

Shetty, 74, survived the knife attack and returned to work on April 24.

Modi also accused the Congress of disrespecting former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, which was not acceptable.

"If such is the mindset, how can they think good for the people of Karnataka," wondered Modi, as the grand old party had also never respected Babasaheb Ambedkar or accepted his views.

"Ambedkar had visited Belagavi district years ago. The Congress never gave him the respect he deserved. He was never conferred a Bharat Ratna for so long that Congress was in power," Modi said.

Likening the ruling party in the southern state to a fish that cannot survive without water, Modi said the Congress too could not live without power.

"That's why they (Congress leaders) are spreading lies, dividing people on the grounds of caste. Congress cannot tolerate that our government that got the majority, a person from a humble background like me became the Prime Minister," added Modi.

He also claimed that the Congress could not tolerate the fact that the BJP-led government at the Centre got a majority in the 2014 general elections.

"The Congress must answer people of the state what work they have done in Karnataka," added Modi.

Besides Yeddyurappa, central ministers from the state, thousands of party workers, cadres and supporters were present on the occasion.


IANS