BENGALURU: Prime Minister Modi enriched the national political discourse on Sunday by adding an acronym –‘TOP’ — to the political vocabulary. “Tomato, Onion, Potato,” he explained, were his government’s ‘TOP’ priority. The reference was to Operation Greens, a measure announced in the Budget speech, which he asserted would replicate the Amul Model’s success in the dairy sector.
The Prime Minister was addressing a party rally in Bengaluru. Modi also assured voters that BS Yeddyurappa, the state BJP chief, had farmers’ best interests at heart, and that projects meant for them would be served best under a government led by him. He pointed out that Yeddyurappa was a farmer’s son himself.
“If a farmer’s son Yeddurappa becomes the Chief Minister, the Centre’s MSP (minimum support price) scheme will be highly successful because he knows the problems of the farmers,” he said, referring to the government’s plan to set MSP at one-and-a-half times the cost of production.
He also outlined the party’s plan for the state, which includes a suburban railway for Bengaluru, bonanza for farmers and reiterated Union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s budget promise of putting men in hawai happals (slippers) in hawai jahaaj (airplane).”When the Congress was there at the Centre, Karnataka was given 73,000 crore. When the BJP came to power, we gave the state 2 lakh crore. It is an increase of 180 per cent,’’ he claimed.
Sharpening the attack on the Congress regime in the state, he said with obvious sarcasm that while the world is discussing the ease of doing business, Karanataka is discussing the “ease of murdering”. The reference perhaps was to the recent killing of a BJP worker who was stabbed with a screwdriver. ‘‘The one who opposes this culture ends up losing his life. This is dangerous for democracy,’’ he added.
He further alleged, citing “reports”, that Congress leaders in Karnataka were asking for commissions in many projects. ‘‘There are serious allegations of corruption against Congress leaders. Reports are emanating about them demanding commission in several projects. I have been told that Karnataka government is recognised as a 10% government as no work is possible without 10% commission,’’ he asserted.
The prime Minister also said his party will make sure Karnataka is “Congress-free” after the upcoming elections. “The countdown for the Congress has begun. It is at the exit gate,” Modi said, as he claimed, ‘‘We will make sure Karnataka is Congress-free.” The BJP came to power in the state on its own for the first time in 2008 but lost to the Congress after five years in the May 2013 election. Today’s rally has come weeks ahead of a crucial assembly election.