It’s hot in Karnataka now. And it’s not just the summer weather. The people are getting bombarded with promises, allegations, freebies, and sometimes even cash / liquor / merchandise, as this is the last week of 2013 election campaigning. The Election Commission is very busy in tracking the illegal handing over of cash and merchandise. TV news channels are full of seized material or cash. BJP, Congress, BRSCP, KJP and JDS are the main players and everyone is trying hard to convince the voter in the last minute.
Let’s focus a bit on the Congress part of campaign. The big names of Congress are all in Karnataka, never mind that China has intruded 19 kilometres into Indian territory. Winning Karnataka from BJP is a bigger priority for Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh than kicking out enemy troops from Indian territory. This shows how desperate they are for the same power which Rahul Gandhi (in)famously termed in Jaipur as ‘Poison’!
Silly attempts to malign Karnataka:
And what kind of campaigning is Congress doing in Karnataka? Disappointing is the best thing that can be said about it. The possible result pattern of this election was already decided months back. So these speeches are not going to make much impact in a heavily caste and other factor-based vote pattern. But for educated folks who still have not made up their mind, Congress campaigning has been a disappointment to the core.
For instance, Congress sends Mohammad Azharuddin to Karnataka to talk about corruption — a super-corrupt man who got banned for life for betraying India via Cricket match-fixing! Congress sends Manish Tiwari to campaign. This guy loudly proclaims that “55 per cent of IT/BT companies are moving to Noida/Gurgaon.” Does he even know how big is 55 per cent? Disastrous claim. Manish Tiwari goes even further to say India’s GDP growth is 8.2 per cent, while Karnataka’s is 5.2 per cent. What a brazen lie! The 2012 Indian GDP growth was around 4 per cent and it is expected to become 5.7 per cent as per IMF.
Congress sends Chiranjeevi to Karnataka to utter mumbo jumbo about “jailed Ministers”. People were must have been thinking, in Chiranjeevi’s home State Andhra Pradesh, a Congress Home Minister has been charge-sheeted and the Supreme Court has given notices to six Ministers for corruption and many Ministers are even in jail today! Congress sends Rahul Gandhi, the ‘future PM’ to tell more lies.
He “lashed out” at the corruption of the BJP in Karnataka and its under-performance. But as Modi paid him back with interest in Bangalore, Rahul had no idea what the world record on corruption was. In fact, it was stupid to sermonise about corruption when his party’s Government has indulged in a mammoth 2G scam. Modi described it very well, “If you are educated, start writing it down yourself. If not, get someone. What you need to do is to start writing from 7 Race Course Road, the scam amount of 2G and by the time you get to the last zero, you will have reached 10, Janpath!”
There are so many holes in Rahul’s points that it is best ignored as an immature attempt by an ill-informed negative campaigner, without any hard facts. By the way, this same Rahul vowed not to indulge in negative campaigning during January of 2013. Go figure!
The same thing applies to Sonia Gandhi too. She (in)famously claimed that law & order has collapsed in Karnataka. Perhaps, her speech writer did not inform that it was her own Minister who had presented to a Karnataka BJP Chief Minister a couple of years back, the “State with the most improved law & order” award!
Et tu, Manmohan?
On the one hand, it was clear that the only thing Congress is doing via media and its speech campaigns is to tarnish the image of Karnataka, indulge in fear-mongering between communities and to paint a disastrous outlook. People are not stupid, but Congress thinks they are. So, if the ill-informed Manish Tiwari, Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi miss out on facts, it is not very surprising considering their track record. Someone joked on Twitter yesterday that Manish Tiwari is actually a Minister of broadcasting without any information! More importantly, we have seen how a similar game was played in Gujarat on a similar lines.
But the Prime Minister of India blatantly lying and misleading the people of India when his turn comes? That’s shocking for some of us at least. He has been projected by the media houses as an ‘honest’ man for so long that it is tough for many of us ordinary souls to accept that he lies in spite of his 200-page ‘impeccable’ resume which is supposed to have absolute ‘credibility’.
But unfortunately, Manmohan Singh lied. Not once or twice, but many times. Here are some of Manmohan Singh’s lies in Karnataka, and next to them are the facts exposing his lies and exaggerated half-truths. In a couple of cases, he might be saying the truth in his claim, but we just have to look at Congress’s track record to see the ‘throwing stone from glass houses’ syndrome. The claims are picked up from the front page report on Kannada Prabha on April 30, 2013.
Claim 1: Metro delays are due to BJP
Fact: Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai almost got Metro trains sanctioned at the same time. Just see how Bangalore Metro has progressed under BJP rule. In 2008, when BJP came to power in Karnataka, the estimated metro progress was 7 per cent. Today it is over 45 per cent based on reports. The first stretch of metro has been running successfully since 2011. Most of the next phases are nearing various stages of completion. For instance, the Green Line is almost ready for public in 2013.
Before the end of 2013, more stages of Namma Metro might be up and running. Building over 40 kilometres of Metro, including digging multiple kilometress of tunnels under the heart of a buzzing 90-lakh populated metro city is not a joke. But BJP has done tremendous work here!
Photo credit: www.img254.imageshack.us
Compare this with the Metro progress in Congress-ruled States. Mumbai metro is still being built. More than half a dozen accidents were reported in the first stretch itself. Hyderabad metro only just took off in terms of construction. The Prime Minister might want to ask his Congress Government there why this important project for so long. See if they mention the word ‘corruption’.
And regarding the delay — The first test run of Bangalore metro was completed way back in December 2010 itself.
But you should ask your Railway Ministry why the safety and other vital certificates’ issuance took so long. The first train started only in October 2011. Why was BMRCL made to run from pillar to post for so long? The answer lies with you, sir. Don’t blame the BJP, which did a tremendous job in building India’s infrastructure.
Claim 2: SM Krishna, Dharam Singh and Veerappa Moily gave good governance.
Fact: Sir, why are you being naive?
During Veerappa Moily’s rule, Bangalore saw one of its only two riots ever in 800+ years of history. The anti-Urdu riots killed dozens of people in the State’s capital. And yes Prime Minister, many of them were minorities. Please read more here.
Not to mention the latest CSR scam involving Reliance that has been in news involving Moily.
During Dharam Singh’s rule, the massive mining scam happened. In fact, the NGOs unearthing mining scam in Karnataka want your ex-CM Dharam Singh prosecuted.
Even the first Lokayukta mining report asked Dharam Singh to pay back money to the State, for causing massive losses to the exchequer.
During SM Krishna’s period, numerous scams and misrule happened. If you read SR Hiremath’s affidavits with Supreme Court, you will learn more about SM Krishna and his favourite Minister DK Shiva Kumar. In fact, a former DCP Sangram Singh has said publicly that the stamp paper scam-tainted Abdul Karim Telgi was at SM Krishna’s residence during the infamous ransom payment to smuggler and mass-murderer Veerappan.
There are numerous probes happening against SM Krishna for his mining scam roles too
Let’s not even get into the long list of de-notification and lake-disappearance allegations against Krishna. Please do not think that the people of Karnataka are stupid to believe you when you say that Moily, Dharam and Krishna gave ‘good governance’.
Claim 3: BJP failed in dealing with drought in Karnataka
Fact: Please do a comparison of how Congress-NCP-ruled Maharashtra handled the drought with how BJP-ruled Karnataka handled the drought.
For starters, BJP released even State money, as your UPA Government gave only peanuts during the worst drought in 40 years. Sonia Gandhi came, did some drama-baazi with speeches and released peanuts from the centre.
Tell us how many farmers committed suicide during 2012-13 in Karnataka during the worst drought in 40 years? Compare it with Maharashtra. Tell us how much money UPA gave to Congress-NCP Government in Maharashtra, and how much it gave to Karnataka? Tell us which Minister in Karnataka behaved irresponsibly like your Ajit Pawar, (he of the ‘pee’ insult fame)? Tell us how many girls from Karnataka were desperately forced into prostitution like Maharashtra’s rural girls during the same drought year? Read more on that in newspapers.
Stop taking a higher moral ground sir. Your Central Government did injustice to Karnataka by not giving the proper aid during a drought due to petty politics. And now you blame the State? Keep in mind that Karnataka did a tremendous job during a bad year, just like how it did during a flood year in 2009.
Claim 4: BJP changed 3 Chief Ministers in five years
Fact: This is a fact. But there were reasons there. More importantly, the corruption taint has now left the BJP, unlike the Congress where none of the corruption tainted people (including yourself sir) from the coal scam and the 2G scam, have ever even had to consider resigning.
And do you even know the track record of Congress rule (as opposed to joint ventures with other parties) in Karnataka? Congress had three Chief Ministers twice during five-year periods. Congress also had two Chief Ministers four times during five-year periods before. With such horrible in-fighting and unstable governance record, how do you blame BJP, which actually got rid of its own Chief Minister when allegations mounted?
Claim 5: BJP should be blamed for electricity and water issues
Fact: Sir, do you know that as a PM, you sided totally with Tamil Nadu on the Kaveri issue? Even when Karnataka was facing massive drought with not even enough water for drinking, you forced it to release water for second and third crops in Tamil Nadu. With such a clear bias against this State, you come here and talk of water issues? You should spend 60 minutes and watch two documentaries made by the former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on the injustices meted out to Karnataka on Krishna and Kaveri, primarily by your Congress Governments at the Centre.
As Karnataka’s Home Minister R Ashoka said a couple of days back, in 50 years Congress could get Bangalore 700 MLD of drinking water from Kaveri. BJP, under Minister Suresh Kumar, brought 500 MLD of extra water in just 3 years. Can you see the difference? 50 years versus 3 years!
Regarding power, do you know that Karnataka Power Minister Shobha Karandlaje was begging for coal for Raichur Thermal Plant when UPA diverted most of it to strife-stricken Telangana to calm nerves there? Did you hear Karnataka BJP leaders openly saying that in spite of working out a power plant deal in Chhattisgarh, UPA Government did not give clearance for coal fuel? Please read more about how step-motherly treatment was given by your Congress Government in Dilli.
In spite of this, compared to the neighbouring Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka has managed well with limited power resources. BJP leaders have even exposed how your UPA Government cut down the share of power to Karnataka from the central grid. With such cheap politics being played by you sir, on water and power issues, how could you come to people and tell lies?
Claim 6: Industries are moving to Andhra Pradesh from Karnataka
Fact: Please show some proof Mister Prime Minister. It is natural in a capitalist society for some companies to move around different States due to their own needs. Some move in and some move out or expand out. But your blanket statement that Karnataka does not have good infrastructure, so industries are moving to Andhra Pradesh is false. In fact, from what we have heard first hand in Andhra Pradesh, your statement looks like a white lie. In Andhra Pradesh, Congress misrule has caused such havoc on the industries that thousands of factories are shutting down.
The situation is so bad that over 2,00,000 jobs have disappeared from Andhra Pradesh in the past 18 months, thanks to the Congress’s pathetic governance.
After your party’s misrule has rendered two lakh people jobless in just one and a half years, you come to Karnataka to paint an incorrect picture that everything is rosy in Andhra Pradesh and industries from Karnataka are moving there?
If you actually spend more time reading Mister Prime Minister, you will see the exact opposite of what you claimed happening. Companies from Hyderabad moved to Bangalore when the Congress regime could not govern Andhra Pradesh properly. See one such report here. It is very sad for Andhra Pradesh as the brand Hyderabad is losing slowly thanks to bad governance.
If you still insist on your claim, please show some proof Mister Prime Minister.
Claim 7: Law & order in Karnataka is not satisfactory and minorities feel insecure
Fact: Again, sir, do some basic reading. Since BJP came to power in Karnataka, not a single communal riot has taken place where more than five have died. Now go back and compare that statistic with the record of earlier Congress regimes. Also, visit a predominantly pro-Muslim website to see the riots of 2012 in India and see if you can spot even one riot from Karnataka.
And while you are at it, tell us which party rules some of the States listed in that shameful riot list. And by the way, who is that Rajya Sabha Member from Assam, the State which saw the worst riot of 2012 in India?
Claim 8: Industry suffered, particularly the IT industry (your former speech)?
Fact: Sir, as an economist, you should give proper information to the people, particularly to your own campaigners. Congress has indulged in a negative campaign showing cubicles of IT industry saying ‘Sakappa saaku’, and BJP has not done well for IT.
But do you even know the facts? Between 2010-12 and 2011-12 (the last annual numbers available), Karnataka saw a whopping 50 per cent rise in software exports to the globe!
When a State under BJP rule is bringing in the maximum IT export revenue to India, that too growing at 50 per cent per year, as the Prime Minister, you should be the last person to discredit that State.
Claim 9: BJP did not build village roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna
Fact: Just yesterday, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar refuted your claim categorically saying, “During BJP rule in Karnataka, Manmohan Singh’s UPA did not give even one kilometre of village road grant to Karnataka under PMGSY.” Whom should we believe sir?
Claim 10: Karnataka is not using NREGA and other Central grants properly.
Fact: This is ridiculous to say the least sir. First of all Karnataka pays one of the highest taxes to the Central Government, but in return does not get its due share back as grants or projects. Compare that grant to tax-paid proportion with Uttar Pradesh or Bihar and you will get an idea. Just making a point here as Rahul Gandhi and many others come to Karnataka to talk as though they give grants from their own pockets.
Secondly, do you even read your own Government’s surveys and reports?
Your own Government’s Urban Development Ministry survey showed that Karnataka is the BEST state in India in terms of utilising JnNURM grants.
In fact, Bangalore and Mysore rank among the top five cities in India when it comes to public transportation facility provision to the public. Again, this is not from some BJP website. It is from your own UPA Government’s survey!
Go to your own Government’s NREGA website to research more. For instance, in 2012, Dharward District’s gram panchayat got the best performance national award. Yes, this is the home district of Jagadish Shettar too.
Have you ever reviewed the cleanest cities in India list, as a part of National Urban Sanitation Policy sir? Karnataka, under a BJP Government, got five cities in India’s top-25 list. Isn’t that something amazing when 20 per cent of the top 25 cleanest cities in India are in this State? And you come here and say BJP didn’t govern well?
Summary: We can go on sir. But let’s stop at 10. As a Prime Minister, it does not bring ‘shobha’ to malign a State of India this badly. If you have fair criticism, that is fine. If you had talked about BJP’s in-fighting, cases in court or garbage problem, people would have understood you. They already know a lot more than you about these and most have already decided who to vote for next. These negatives of BJP are real and they exist. But you are creating fiction to malign an Indian state, for cheap politics. This is ridiculous and hopefully, you or someone from your team will give us data and proof to prove that what’s written above is not accurate. We will be grateful if you can give us that transparency.
And if you can’t, we hope that you issue an apology to the people of Karnataka for the insults you have heaped upon them.