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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said there is a strong undercurrent in favour of Congress in poll-bound Karnataka but pressed on his leaders to ensure that the party wins at least 150 seats so that the next government is not “stolen” by a corrupt BJP.
He also reminded everyone that people in the party have a duty to defend the idea of India from the RSS and BJP amid hatred, violence and attacks on the country’s institutions.
The Congress leader arrived in Karnataka on a two-day event to take part in a series of events in Kolar, Bengaluru and Bidar before flying back to Delhi.
“Most of us are aware of what the BJP is doing to the nation in terms of hatred and violence, the attack on institutions. These are the things that are visible to everybody,” Gandhi said after inaugurating Indira Gandhi Bhavan.
Dwelling on his party’s prospects in the May 10 Karnataka Assembly election, he said: “We are facing an election now in Karnataka and I am quite happy to see that there is a very strong undercurrent in favour of the Congress and I am confident that the party is going to win the election.”
The Congress leader expressed happiness that there was “certain amount of unity” among party leaders in the state. “I am happy to see also that there is a certain amount of unity among all our leaders, unity of purpose and unity of action. I saw all the leaders of Karnataka during the Bharat Jodo Yatra,” he added.
Winning elections in a close manner will not work in Karnataka, Gandhi said urging his leaders to win at least 150 seats of the total 224 in the Assembly.
“We have to win the election with 150 seats because the BJP is a corrupt organisation. The BJP has a huge amount of money that they have stolen from the people of Karnataka and they will attempt to steal the next government as well,” he underlined.
The Congress leader said he was confident that if Congress campaigned in a united manner and stood together, then the party will win the election hands down.
“The essence of our country, the nature of our country is being attacked and it is our duty as Congress people, as people who have helped build the modern idea of India, as the institution, the organisation that has helped build the modern idea of India to defend it from RSS and the BJP.”
Lashing out at the Basavaraj Bommai-led dispensation, the former Congress president said everybody knew the state government in Karnataka is one of the most corrupt in the country.
“The tag ’40 per cent Sarkar’ has stuck. Everybody understands that the BJP in Karnataka is a symbol of corruption,” Gandhi said pointing out that the people of Karnataka are keen to teach a lesson to the ’40 per cent Sarkar’.
Stating that the BJP government has “gone beyond being corrupt”, Gandhi underscored that no matter what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said or did, it was very clear to the people of Karnataka that the BJP wasted its time.
“They have stolen five years of theirs because this government did not belong to them. This was a non-BJP government that was elected and this was a government that has been stolen,” the Congress leader said.
Congress has made corruption as a poll plank alleging that the ministers demand 40 per cent commission on public works from contractors.
Appealing to the Congress workers to work hard in this election, he said a message should be conveyed that the party is coming to power with a serious purpose to deliver things to the people of Karnataka.
In the outgoing 224-member Assembly, the BJP currently has 119 seats, followed by the Congress with 75 and the JD (S) with 28 seats. Two seats are vacant.
While polling for the Assembly election will take place on May 10, the results would be declared on May 13.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)