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Rahul bets on Congress wining Karnataka assembly poll


IANS Belagavi (Karnataka)
An upbeat Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday asserted that the ruling party would win the Karnataka assembly poll and return to power again.
"The Congress will win the assembly election in Karnataka again and return to power as our government fulfilled all the promises it made and lived up to the people's expectations," said an elated Gandhi at a public rally near Ramdurg in the state's northwest border district.
Resuming his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, Gandhi said though they both have money and media with them, the Congress had the people with it because of its good governance in the state.
The Congress returned to power in the southern state in the May 2013 assembly election a decade after it lost power in 2004 state poll.
Gandhi was on a three-day visit to the state since Saturday to seek the people's blessings in the assembly poll, due in April-May, through the Jan Aashirwada Yatra, organised by the party's state unit.
Exuding confidence of the Congress being re-elected, Gandhi hinted that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would lead the poll campaign with the party's state leaders to develop Karnataka into a model state for others to follow.
"Siddaramaiah and I will take the state forward after winning the upcoming election," reiterated Gandhi though the party had not projected its next chief minister in the event of winning the assembly poll.
Urging Modi to learn from Siddaramaiah how to deliver promises and govern the state, the party chief decried the former for dubbing the Congress government being corrupt and taking 10 per cent cut in its projects.
"Modi talks of fighting against corruption but records show that he did not bother to set up the anti-graft body (Lokayukta) even when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister for lover 12 years or Lokpal in New Delhi since he became the Prime Minister in May 2014," recalled Gandhi.
Accusing Modi of failing to keep promises made in the 2014 general elections, Gandhi said Siddaramaiah, however, walked the talk and delivered what the party promised the people in its poll manifesto five years ago.
"Whatever Modi does benefits only the people like diamond trader Nirav Modi who fled the country after siphoning Rs11,000 crore from the Punjab National Bank's Mumbai branch over a period since 2011," added Gandhi.
Terming Modi a self-proclaimed "chowkidar" (watchman) of the country, the party chief expressed dismay over his failure to check a smart trader duping a state-run bank of crores of rupees and went away scot free.
The self-proclaimed "chowkidar" of the nation is shockingly silently while crores of public money is looted right under his watch.
"Will Modi speak up and inform the nation how fraudsters manage to get away while the 'chowkidar' silently watches," thundered Gandhi.
Winding up the second leg of his visit to the state a fortnight after the four-day tour of the erstwhile Hyderabad-Karnataka region, the party chief interacted with the rural people, farmers and women from self-help group.
Besides Siddaramaiah, party's state unit president G. Parameshwara, party's state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, party's opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge and other leaders accompanied Gandhi on the tour.
He also visited Hindu temple Saundatti, Renuka Yellamma temple in the district, about 500 km from Bengaluru.

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First Published: Feb 27 2018 | 1:10 AM IST

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