'BJP seizes power by dacoity': Sonia Gandhi launches fierce attack in her first rally in Karnataka's Hubballi

'BJP seizes power by dacoity': Sonia Gandhi launches fierce attack in her first rally in Karnataka's Hubballi

Former Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in her first election rally in last four years in Karnataka's Hubbali, delivered an all guns blazing speech against the BJP and Prime Minister Modi.

Shankar RajUpdated: Saturday, May 06, 2023, 10:19 PM IST
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Congress leader Sonia Gandhi on Saturday trained all guns at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in her maiden entry into the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections, saying the state and by extension India cannot make progress without getting rid of the ruling party's “loot, lies, ego and hatred”. The “dark rule” of the BJP must end, she said.

“The BJP is rattled by Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which was against those spreading hatred. This was the reason that lakhs of people joined Rahul Gandhi's 4,000 km march,” Gandhi said in a hard-hitting speech flanked on the stage by Congress president M Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and former Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar who recently quit the BJP over the denial of ticket and joined the Congress.

“The Bharat Jodo Yatra was against people who do only one work, which is spreading hatred. Such people can never bring any development in Karnataka,” she said.

BJP leaders never answer any questions, Gandhi contended. “They (BJP) think democratic principles are in their pockets. Does democracy work like this?” she asked.

Sonia Gandhi hits out at Nadda's 'Modi's blessing' comment

Taking a swipe at BJP President JP Nadda's 'PM Modi's blessing' remark, the veteran politician said that the people of Karnataka do not need anyone's blessing. "The BJP is threatening people and saying if the BJP does not win in the state, it will not receive PM Modi's blessings, she said."

Nadda had exhorted the voters of the poll-bound state to make sure his party was elected to power so that they didn’t lose the “blessings” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The fate of leaders are determined by common people and leaders cannot determine public's fate," the Rae Bareli MP said.

"I would like to tell the BJP that the people of Karnataka place their trust in their hard work, rather than relying on anyone's blessings," Sonia Gandhi said to the loud cheer of supporters.

BJP known for seizing powers with coercive means: Sonia

"BJP is a party known for its ability to seize power through coercive means, without regard for democratic principles," Sonia Gandhi said, reminding how the government formed by Congress in 2018 was toppled by the BJP. "The BJP comes to power by dacoity," the former Congress president said.

Hitting out at the centre for its 'authoritarian' tactics, Sonia Gandhi reminded the audience that her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi had come to Chikmangalur to fight the Lok Sabha polls when Janata Party government was in power. Sonia also recalled that she had fought her first Lok Sabha election from Bellary in Karnataka, stressing that the Gandhi family has had an old relationship with the southern state.

"Country, state can't progress without ending BJP's dark rule"

Slamming the incumbent government over various issues like 40% commission, Nandini milk, etc, Sonia Gandhi asked the voters of Karnataka to vote for the grand old party.

It's everyone's responsibility to strengthen our voice against BJP govt of "dark rule", she said.

Neither Karnataka nor India can progress without ending 'atmosphere of BJP's loot, lies, ego and hatred', Sonia Gandhi said.

She mentioned that the Congress party is working towards every poll promise it had made, in states where it is in power.

Karnataka has a long connection with the Nehru-Gandhi family and has been a "comeback territory" in the past.

Karnataka is crucial for Congress as it can mark its revival for the 2024 Lok Sabha election. If BJP is defeated in Karnataka, the party will not be in power in any southern state.

With Rahul Gandhi having been disqualified from Lok Sabha following his conviction in a criminal defamation case and the election debacles Congress faced in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress is pinning strong hopes on Karnataka where it has strong state leadership.

The party feels that a win in Karnataka will give it a massive boost to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the 2024 general elections and emerge as a fulcrum of opposition unity.

Rahul Gandhi has so far held 17 rallies and roadshows in Karnataka, while his sister Priyanka Gandhi has done 19 rallies.

Sonia Gandhi has not campaigned in any state elections in the recent past.

The former Congress president did the last election rally in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in her parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli.

She gave a speech at the Bharat Bachao rally at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan on December 14, 2019.

(With inputs from agencies)

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