As PM Modi begins K’taka campaign, Siddaramaiah asks sharp questions

Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start his election campaign today for the BJP in poll-bound Karnataka with an aim to unseat the Congress from power and form its government in the southern state for a second time.

PM Modi, who last visited Karnataka for campaigning in February, will be addressing rallies at Santhemarahalli in Chamarajanagara district, and Udupi and Chikkodi in Belagavi today.

The Prime Minister is also scheduled to visit Krishna matha ahead of his Udupi rally. PM Modi will meet the senior seer there.

At least a dozen rallies are expected to follow in the coming days, party sources said.

On the eve of Prime Minister Modi’s visit, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah posed some sharp questions to him on corruption charges linked to BJP’s presumptive chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and mining baron Janardhan Reddy on Twitter.

"Dear @narendramodi, Heard you are visiting Namma Karnataka tomorrow. We welcome you to our state. While you are here, we Kannadigas would like you to address the following concerns,” first of Siddaramaiah’s chain of tweets posted with the hashtag #AnswerMaadiModi said.

In a series of tweets, Siddaramaiah assailed the Prime Minister over BJP giving tickets to "tainted" mining baron G Janardhan Reddy's brothers and associates as also declaring Yeddyurappa its chief ministerial candidate.

Raising issues like tickets being given to "rape" accused and MLAs who watched porn in the Assembly", the chief minister also hit out at PM Modi over promises that were not kept.

In tweets that followed, Siddaramaiah referred to incidents of rape in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. He alleged Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath "protected" a BJP MLA accused of sexual assault, while party MLAs defended the rapists of a child in Jammu and Kashmir.

"And then your party makes bombastic Ads to politicise rape in Karnataka?!" Siddaramaiah said.

Siddaramaiah also said the Modi government had failed to create jobs for young people and advised them to sell 'pakodas' instead. He attacked the Prime Minister over demonetisation, and not waiving farm loans.

Polling for the 224-member Assembly will be held on May 12, and results will be declared on the 15th of the month.

(With PTI inputs)

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