Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his second visit to poll-bound Karnataka in 10 days on Thursday to lay the foundation stone and inaugurate various developmental projects related to irrigation, drinking water and the national highway development project in Yadgir district, a bastion of the Congress.
Addressing a public rally, he said the BJP Government has prioritised development over vote bank politics and has given the State double engine growth.
Mr Modi targeted two districts of the Kalyana Karnataka region, earlier Hyderabad-Karnataka region, considered to be the stronghold of Congress’s national president Mallikarjun Kharge (Kalaburagi is his home-town and former constituency).
“Our Government’s priority is not any vote bank, our priority is development. You all blessed me in 2014, and entrusted me with a huge responsibility. I know that as long as even a single district of the country remains backwards on the scale of development, the country cannot develop. Therefore, we have encouraged the aspiration of development in those districts which were declared backward by the previous Government. Our Government started the Aspirational Districts Programme in more than 100 such districts of the country including Yadgir,” Mr Modi said.
He also launched the ‘Hakku Patra’ (land title deed) distribution drive for over 52,000 nomadic Lambani (Banjara) tribes in five districts in north Karnataka.
In a veiled attack on the previous Congress-led Government, he said: “Those who ruled the country for a long time took votes of deprived sections of society by giving slogans but didn’t take enough steps for their development. We are working to empower them and these sections are getting their rights.”
However, former chief minister Siddaramaiah charged the ruling BJP in Karnataka with “feasting on the meals” prepared by the previous Congress Government headed by him. He claimed the BJP was trying to project they were granting revenue village status to ‘Thandas’ (this community’s habitations), which was “misleading”.
He added the process to make Thandas as revenue villages was initiated during his Government from 2013 to 2018.
Mr Modi’s visit to Congress bastions comes after Union Home Minister Amit Shah targeted the JD(S) stronghold in Old Mysuru region earlier this month.
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