In Karnataka Style Modi Dubs Rajasthan Congress Ministry “85 Per Cent Commission Government”
NEW DELHI, May 31: Copying the Congress-style of Karnataka election campaign, the prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the BJP’s campaign in Rajasthan with a “85 per cent commission government” jibe to hit out at the Ashok Gehlot government in the state which will go to polls by the end of the current year.
Hitting out at the Congress over corruption, Modi accused the Gehlot government of taking 85 per cent commission in each development project. “Our country never had a shortage of money for development work.… Congress is a party that takes a cut of 85% commission in every project. We were able to do development because we plugged the leakages created by the Congress party”, Modi said at a rally in Ajmer in poll-bound Rajasthan.
The prime minister apparently took the line seeing success of the Congress in the just-concluded elections in Karnataka where the saffron party’s government was voted out of power with Congress dubbing the Basavraj Bommai government as ‘40% commission Sarkara’ during poll campaigns that stuck with the voters.
Continuing his attack, Modi said, “When it comes to loot, Congress does not discriminate between anyone. It loots every citizen including poor, oppressed, tribals, minorities, women and Divyangs.” He also mocked the Congress party’s “guarantee formula” in Karnataka, another measure of success for the party in the southern state, and claimed that such election-winning formulae by the Congress would leave the country bankrupt.
In an apparent reference to the Congress’s five guarantees for Karnataka, Modi said: “The Congress has a new formula of guarantees. But are they fulfilling their guarantees? Their guarantees will leave the country bankrupt.”
Though the rally in Ajmer was to mark the completion of the Modi government’s nine years in the office, it was used by the prime minister as the launch of the BJP’s election campaign. On a visit to Ajmer and Pushkar as part of the BJP’s public outreach or Jan Sampark Abhiyan, Modi ripped into the Congress over corruption.
The Congress’s election campaign in Rajasthan, led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, focuses on social welfare schemes ranging from free electricity to cheaper cooking gas. Highlighting that the Congress party’s “guarantee formula” was nothing new, Modi recalled the former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s “Garibi Hatao” slogan. “Fifty years ago, the Congress guaranteed that it would remove poverty. But it turned out to be their biggest betrayal of the poor,” Modi said.
“It has been a policy of the Congress to mislead the poor and keep them deprived. The people of Rajasthan have also suffered a lot due to this…And what has Rajasthan got? A government where MLAs, CM (Chief Minister) and ministers fight among themselves,” he said.
The remarks referred to the Congress’s Ashok Gehlot versus Sachin Pilot feud, which remains unresolved despite multiple attempts and a show of unity on Monday. Shortly after the PM’s remarks, Sachin Pilot aimed another zinger at his own party, repeating his ultimatum for the Gehlot government on action over corruption allegations against the previous Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government. “On the matter of corruption and justice, there is no compromise,” Pilot said.
This was Modi’s fourth visit this year to Rajasthan. Modi said his government, over the past nine years, had been dedicated to the service of the people, good governance, and the welfare of the poor. He cited his party’s schemes, reading from a list without a pause.
Before 2014, he said, people were on the streets against corruption and there were terror attacks in major cities while the Congress ran the government by remote control. “The Congress developed a corrupt system that sucked the blood of the country and hindered development,” he said, referencing an old comment by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that out of 100 paise, only 15 paise reached the poor.
Modi also attacked the opposition for boycotting the inauguration of the new Parliament building by him on Sunday calling it an “insult” of the sentiments of the country and the hard work 60,000 labourers. “India got a new Parliament building three days back. I ask you whether you are proud of it or not. Did you feel the joy on the increase in India’s prestige? The Congress and some parties like it hurled the mud of politics on this too,” he said. Modi said such opportunities come once in generations, but the Congress used this for its “selfish protest.” “They insulted the hard work of 60,000 labourers and the sentiment of the country,” he said, adding the Congress is unable to digest the progress the country is making.
Modi said the Congress was angry because a “son of the poor” was not allowing them to do what they want and was “raising questions on their corruption and parivarwad (dynastic politics).
The PM also took a veiled swipe at the ongoing tussle within the Congress. “After several years, you made a stable government at the Centre in 2014. The BJP has respected your mandate. But you gave a mandate in Rajasthan five years ago. What did Rajasthan get in return? Instability and anarchy. For the past five years, ministers, MLAs and the CM are busy fighting with each other”, Modi said, referring to the hostilities between CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
Before his rally, the prime minister had offered prayers at the famous Brahma temple in Pushkar.