Ahead of the second phase of polling in Karnataka on May 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a blistering attack on Congress’ governance model in Karnataka during his marathon rallies. He accused the party of failing to ensure security, rampant corruption, hindering direct benefit transfers, and failing to foster unity within its ranks.

On his visit to the State, Modi addressed back-to-back rallies in the North Karnataka regions — Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Davangere, and Bellary — intensifying the party’s attempts to garner support in the area that had favoured the Congress in the State assembly polls.

Modi said that while the BJP is taking the nation forward, the Congress government in Karnataka is pushing Karnataka behind. He said that the BJP government, previously under the ex-CMs Basavaraj Bommai and BS Yediyurappa, had made great progress for the State, all of which the Congress government has reversed in its regime.

He also accused the grand old party of not being internally aligned in the state. “Both number one and number two (referring to Siddaramaih and DK Shivakumar) keep planning and plotting how to push each other out. They want to rule for 1.5 years each; where is the stability? Do not waste your vote for them,” he said.

Modi also said that the Congress government is extremely corrupt. Modi alleged that Congress has diverted ₹11,000 crore from the SC-ST Welfare Fund and has also stopped providing ₹4,000 aid to farmers, which the previous BJP government used to provide.

He also recounted the incidents of the bomb blast in Rameshwaram cafe in Bengaluru and the murder of Neha Hiremath, the daughter of Congress Councillor, in Hubli, and said the Congress has been unable to ensure the safety of the people. “When the bomb blast happened, they dismissed it by saying it had to do with gas connections, and it was just about business rivalry... Our daughters like Neha are being killed on an open campus, which has shaken the State, but the Congress only cares about the vote bank,” he said.

Modi also intensified his criticism on the inheritance tax issue, repeating that Congress intends to put a 55 per cent tax on people’s property. “Our parents work their entire lives to ensure they leave something behind for the benefit of their children, but the Congress, which gave away the entire party in inheritance, will be taking away most of it,” he said.

The Prime Minister also took a dig at Rahul Gandhi. Terming him as “Shehzada,” Modi said he insulted India’s Rajas and Maharajas by referring to them as land-grabbing tyrants, but has kept quiet about the horrors carried out by Sultans, Nawabs, Nizams, and Badshahs for the purpose of appeasement politics.