At Shivamogga rally, Modi accuses Congress of corruption and dividing India

This marked Modi's second rally in Karnataka this month and his first since the imposition of the model code of conduct for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Modi in Shivamogga
Modi in Shivamogga Twitter
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress party of instigating a "dangerous game of dividing the country" at an election rally in Karnataka’s Shivamogga, on Monday, March 18. “To divide society is an old Congress trick and the consequences have been disastrous,” he said.

Modi made these remarks referring to a statement made by DK Suresh, the Congress's lone Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka. Last month, Suresh, who is brother of Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, said that the people of south India would demand a separate nation if the “injustice” over tax devolution to states continued. "Rather than throwing him out of the party, the Congress is protecting him," Modi said.

These remarks come two days after the Prime Minister kicked off the BJP’s campaign in Karnataka in Kalaburagi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s home district, where he criticised the Grand Old Party for its alleged corruption. This is the PM’s first rally since the imposition of the model code of conduct came into force ahead of the elections.

The Prime Minister also lambasted the Congress for what he called false assurances made by its leaders ahead of elections. "After coming to power, the Congress is telling one lie after another," Modi said that the Congress either blamed the Union government or him for its failures.

Modi repeated his remarks at the Kalaburagi rally about alleged corruption in the Karnataka government, accusing Congress leaders of treating the state like an "ATM" for the party high command.

He criticised the party for its internal power struggles and alleged financial mismanagement. “Their loot has reached such an extent that they don’t have the money to run the government. Someone is a CM-in-waiting, someone is a future CM aspirant, someone is a super CM, someone is a shadow CM. Among all these CMs, there is also a collection master from Delhi,” Modi said.

Shivamogga might prove to be a tough battle for the BJP if it fails to placate senior party leader KS Eshwarappa who is threatening to contest the Shivamogga seat as an independent, after the saffron party denied his son KE Kanthesh a ticket for the Haveri seat and fielded Basavaraj Bommai.

The BJP has so far announced candidates for 20 seats and has formed an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular), which is slated to contest three Lok Sabha seats.

Karnataka will vote in two phases with 14 seats in south Karnataka going to polls on April 26, and the rest of seats on May 7.

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