“Nudidante Nade” (practice as you preach" was Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s motto to win over voters in Karnataka.
On Sunday, addressing a rally at Bengaluru’s Palace Grounds, Rahul revealed the party's intention of using the Karnataka polls as a springboard for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
Rahul began his speech by hailing the city he was addressing, and assured that the demands of all sections of society would be taken care of.
In his speech, Rahul invoked 12th-century social reformer Basavanna, and talked about how revered figure had wanted to unite society with love.
“Basavanna lived centuries ago. But his voice and his thinking is still alive in Karnataka, years after his death. Nudidante nade (practice as you preach) is Basavanna's saying. And when Congress is fighting elections here, we take Basavanna's ideas and go to people. The Congress, who, like Basavanna, is trying to unite society with love and as you say — nudidante nade,” Rahul said.
Rahul referenced Basavanna's teachings and repeated his famous saying ‘nudidante nade’ (say as you do) several times during his speech.
However, he refrained from speaking on the Karnataka government's decision to recommend a separate religion status for Lingayats and Veerashaivas who follow Basava Tatva. Basavanna is the proponent of the Lingayat faith.
LIke most of his previous speeches in the campaign trail so far, Rahul trained his guns on the Centre, PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.
“The BJP-RSS talks of dividing the society and country. The BJP President, in his speech, says that the opposition is animals, and calls them dogs and cats. That is the ideology of RSS followed by Amit Shah. No Congress leader will ever say anything like this. This is not the way of Congress or Karnataka,” Rahul claimed.
He also predicted a victory for the Congress in Karnataka and claimed that it will act as a forewarning for the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Exuding confidence that his party can fight anti-incumbency to return to power in the state, Rahul said, “I'm happy that people are showing interest in Congress and the BJP’s campaign is failing because Karnataka's thinking is like the thinking of Basavanna and Kempe Gowda.”
Again, emphasising on ‘nudidante nade’, Rahul attacked the BJP and said, “Modi comes to Karnataka and talks of corruption. On his stage there is Yeddyurappa, who has gone to jail. “
He added, “Amit Shah's son turned Rs 15,000 to Rs 80 crore in three months. Modi doesn't say a word. Nirav Modi ran away with Rs 30 crore. Narendra Modi knows him by his first name. There’s a relation there and he still he does not say a word.”
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who took the stand after Rahul also lambasted the BJP.
“BJP and Modi accuse us of corruption without proof. As Rahul said, does he have any shame doing this with Yeddyurappa on stage with him?“ he asked.
“Yeddyurappa was accused of corruption. He has given a bribe of Rs 4 crores. Income tax has taken note of this and they tell us about corruption?” SIddaramaiah laughed
Then, the CM mounted an attack on the Centre and decided to mock PM Modi, imitating his tone while saying “sabka saath sabka vikas”.
He then attacked Minister of State for Skill Development Anantkumar Hegde, who earlier said that “we are here to change the Constitution”.
“If anyone has the right to say it, it is the Congress party alone and no one else. Congress has to come back to save the Constitution. If we win here, the Centre will get a message. In 2019, the communal party will be removed from the Centre and Rahul Gandhi will become PM,” Siddaramaiah said.
Earlier in the day, Rahul, along with other senior leaders of the party, interacted with citizens from different walks of the life including pourakarmikas, safai karamcharis and women entrepreneurs. He also rode the Namma Metro as part of the party’s pre-poll outreach.