BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Sunday urged the electorate in Karnataka to vote against candidates like union minister M. Veerappa Moily, who did not keep promises they made five years ago.
"Reject candidates who betrayed you by making grand promises but failed to implement them. It is your turn to give verdict and send them home," Modi said at a public rally in this parliamentary constituency, about 70km from Bangalore. Without naming the minister, Modi had a dig at Moily, re-contesting from this backward region though he hails from Dakshina Kannada coastal district in the state.
"For instance, he (Moily) promised in 2009 to set up 5,000 village courts (gram nayalayas) across the country as union law minister. But only 72 of them have come up so far. Before he could open some more, he was shifted to petroleum ministry where he was busy fixing gas pricing and quota for subsidised cooking gas cylinders," Modi said.
Listing out other unmet promises of Moily, Modi said he made the state government lay the fourndation stone for the Yettinhole project to bring drinking water to this arid district all the way from the coast before the elections were announced, contrary to his assurance to implement the project during his term as MP.
"Your MP also failed to protect interests of sericulture farmers, as they suffered losses due to Chinese silk flooding the domestic market on lower import duty," Modi said in his 30-minute address, made in Hindi, on a hot day. Moily was also the state chief minister in 1992-94.
"I am afraid Congress may not open account in some states and not cross single digit in many states as the people are very angry with the UPA government for unprecedented price rise, corruption and jobless growth," claimed Modi, drawing applause from crowds.
Stressing that need of the hour was a strong national government, he asked the people if they wanted again a government that failed to fulfil assurances or govern the country properly.
Taking potshots on another former state chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy contesting against Moily, Modi said the former had the habit of shifting constituencies in every election and betraying voters by abandoning them after every election. Former BJP minister B.N. Bache Gowda is the BJP candidate in the prestigious constituency, while the fledgling Aam Aadm Party (AAP) has fielded K. Arkesh, a former senior police officer from the state.
On a day-long whirlwind tour of the state, Modi also addressed huge pubic rallies at Chikamagalur and Haveri in the central regions of the state before leaving for Chennai.
Polling to the state's 28 Lok Sabha seats will be held April 17.