Modi eyes Dalit votes, says Congress let them down

Modi eyes Dalit votes, says Congress let them down

PM Modi also said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi "disrespected" the national song 'vande mataram'. DH Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked Congress and its leaders in his usual style during at a rally here on Thursday.

Modi said that the huge crowd at the venue, despite the scorching heat of May, indicated that they were willing to endure heat, but not the Congress government.

The prime minister said that the election was not for any individual or party’s victory, but “for the future of the youth, farmers of Karnataka and to provide security to women.”

Modi recalled Kalaburagi's link with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was instrumental in freeing the region from the rule of the Nizams, who refused to be part of independent India. However, the mere mention of Patel gives sleepless night to a family in Congress, the prime minister said, without taking the name of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Patriots, soldiers insulted

“Congress is in the habit of insulting and ignoring the freedom fighters and patriots,” he said and added that Field Marshal Cariappa and General Thimmaiah, proud sons of Karnataka, had been insulted.

“After the 1948 war, the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the then Defence Minister Krishna Menon repeatedly insulted Thimmaiah, forcing him to resign to protect his honour.”

They (Congress) sought proof of the genuineness of the surgical strikes. Bodies of Pakistani soldiers were carried on trucks, a newspaper said that...and they need proof. Should our soldiers go on such operations with a camera or a gun?" he said.

The prime minister said it was the same Congress which called the Army chief a goon.

A museum will be set up in every state in the country to honour the Adivasis who fought for freedom from 1857 to 1947 and sacrificed their lives, he said.

Modi claimed that it was the BJP government which strengthened the SC/ST Act in 2015. The prime minister said the Centre was strengthening the network of courts for effective implementation of the Act.

“The Congress is again raising the issue of Dalits. In the previous election, they sought votes of the Dalits, saying if they form the government, they will make Kharge (Kalaburagi MP Mallikarjun Kharge) the chief minister,” Modi said. “However, they ended up misleading the Dalits.”

Whenever the Congress came to power, only a few families have prospered. “Can anyone estimate the property owned by the Kharge family members?” he said.

Modi said Kalaburagi was known for its 'tur dal' and it had become a brand in itself.

Noting that there was record production of tur in the region, Modi said for the benefit of the tur farmer, the Centre had fixed the minimum support price for the crop (at 1.5 times), but the Congress government failed to ensure that it reached the farmers.

Claiming the credit for fixing the MSP as per the M S Swaminathan report, Modi said, “The Congress committed the crime of keeping the report in the almirah.”