Bengaluru: Making a determined effort to capture the hearts of Bengalureans (the district has 28 Assembly seats) and woo the dominant Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities, AICC President Mr Rahul Gandhi on Sunday profusely praised Lingayat icon Basavanna and the founder of Bengaluru, Kempe Gowda.
Addressing the valedictory of the Janaashirvada Yatre at Palace Grounds here on Sunday, Mr Gandhi said the Congress had always followed the thoughts of Basavanna and Kempe Gowda. Bengaluru today stood out prominently on the world map, something the US President had acknowledged with his statement that only China and India can compete with the US. The reason for India’s soaring capability is Bengaluru, as people here think like Basavanna and Kempe Gowda, he said.
“The mood in Karnataka is in favour of the Congress party and we will win the election," Gandhi said and devoted his speech to attacking the Modi government. "Wherever Modi ji goes, he speaks his Mann ki baat. I would like to tell you that the Congress party will listen to your Mann ki baat and on the basis of what is in your mind, we will run the government."
“We will work towards progress by taking everyone together. It will be a government of everyone, of every religion, caste and language,” he told the gathering. Gandhi also said the Karnataka elections was a “fight between two ideologies.”
“On one side, the Congress works for uniting everyone, spreads brotherhood and love. On the other side, the BJP follows the RSS and Nagpur's ideology. It's the ideology of spreading anger, hate and dividing people."
He also attacked BJP president Amit Shah for his remarks equating opposition parties with animals. "I want to tell you from this stage that no Congress leader can ever make such statement." Taking a dig at Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi for raking up corruption issues in Karnataka, Mr Gandhi said the PM had BJP state president Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa-who had gone to jail on corruption charges- next to him on the dais when he attended programmes in the state.
Continuing his tirade against the PM, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah quipped that after the bypolls in Nanjangud and Gundlupet which the BJP lost, their ‘Mission-150’ seats had come down to 50. He claimed the JD(S) was planning to join hand with the BJP in case of a fractured mandate and said a vote given to the JD(S) was an indirect vote for the BJP. The CM claimed that the Congress which had Won 13 seats of the 28 in Bengaluru city in 2013, would win at least 25 this time.
Rahul no longer a greenhorn, a pushover
Many would have expected the 47-year old bachelor president of the Indian National Congress to squirm and stutter, as he interacted with a big gathering of women at the Atria hotel in the city.
But Rahul Gandhi had matured, he was not the politico forever lost for words. He handled queries with elan, asking former foreign secretary Nirupama Rao if she could be his advisor as he needed a bit of advice in foreign affairs. He had answers for all of them and they were all there-Kiram Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon, theatre personality Arundathi Nag, film maker Kavita Lankesh, sister of Gauri Lankesh, biz honcho Vinita Bali and Akkai Padmashali, transgender activist. The audience was impressed no doubt as Rahul spoke about education, child rights, Dalit anger now rising across the nation and the need to regard the third sex with empathy and dignity. He, as one of those who attended the session remarked, had come of age and was no longer a 'greenhorn,' a pushover, as many had thought when he first burst on the political scene a couple of decades ago. He had grown in stature and also added a few inches-after feasting on 'Gujju' delicacies during polls in PM Modi's home state and now in Karnataka too. For that, Rahul happily passed on the blame to CM Siddaramaiah, veteran, Mallikarjun Kharge and KPCC president Dr G. Parameshwar for not doing enough to stop him! As for exercise, there was hardly any time. There was thunderous applause coming his way when he spoke of the need for more women to enter Parliament, proportionate to their population-the Congress was evidently much more pro-women that it had been.
Erudite, intelligent and most of all, remarkably transparent. That was the impression one carried away from the session. Someone asked him how he dealt with all the attention, all that hate mail and trolling and pat came the answer. "My father Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 by an LTTE bomber, and in 2009, came the news of LTTE supremo Prabhakaran's death, shot dead by the Lankan military. There were many who thought I would have carried the hate in my mind, but I felt none of it; instead I was sad, torn and upset, wondering how his family would deal with the loss. And so did my sister Priyanka," he said, sending out a subtle message that there was no room for bitterness in politics when there was already too much of it around.
Note from Kannada.Club :
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