BJP's star campaigner and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Sunday made a virulent attack on the Congress, especially on its vice president Rahul Gandhi, who he termed "a child born with a golden spoon", asking people never to vote for the party.
"Even by mistake don't vote for the Congress as it will ruin Karnataka and the country. Say goodbye to the Congress by voting for our party's lotus (kamal) symbol and free the country from its clutches," thundered Modi at a mammoth Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) election rally here ahead of the state legislative assembly poll May 5.
Cautioning the people against falling prey to the Congress and its leaders, Modi mocked at Gandhi for saying the state's ruling BJP had set a world record in corruption when its own central government was steeped in multi-crore scams like the 2G, Commonwealth Games and coal block allotments.
"It's shocking to hear Rahul saying our party's government in this state had set a world record in corruption. To know the magnitude of corruption the Congress is steeped in, Rahul should start with number 1 from 7, Race Course Road and add zeros till he reaches 10, Janpath in New Delhi to know how many zeros makes Rs.1.7-lakh crore, the amount the nation lost in the 2G scam," Modi said evoking applause from about 30,000-strong gathering.
Taking potshots on Gandhi by repeatedly referring him as the Congress scion born with a golden spoon, Modi said it was ironic that he should be asking the people to vote his party to power in the state after hearing from his mother (Congress chief Sonia Gandhi) that "power was poison and power destroys a person".
"At the AICC (All India Congress Committee) session held recently (Jan 18-20) in Jaipur, Rahul recalled his mother telling him in tears that power is poison. The same Rahul comes to Karnataka and tells people to give him power. If power is poison, why is he asking the people to give poison instead of nectar. I wonder if Rahul knows what he says and what he does," Modi said.
Lauding state Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar for providing a clean and stable government during his short tenure of nine months, Modi said at the recent National Development Council meeting in New Delhi, even the prime minister and various chief ministers were taking notes when Shettar made presentation on the achievements made by Karnataka under the five-year BJP rule.
"The boy with the golden spoon can't even spell the name of your chief minister (Shettar). If he tries, he will make mistakes. The UPA government promised to give one crore (10 million) jobs when it came to power again in 2009. Have anyone of you got a job from the central government in Delhie" Modi asked the audience, evoking loud "nos".
Challenging the Congress, especially Rahul for an open debate on the performance of the BJP governments and its own governments across the country, Modi said at the 'Civil Services Day' event in New Delhi April 21, all the performance awards went to seven BJP-ruled states, including Karnataka, which bagged two awards and none to the Congress.
"Congress has the habit of saying something and doing something else. Don't fall for its words. Look at the fate of Delhi, which is ruled by the Congress but where no one is safe, especially women. What can you expect of such a party and its governmente," Modi asserted.