Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is endowed with the gift of the gab and this is the art which brought him the grand victory of Lok Sabha elections 2014. Then by taking people for a ride almost all elections were bagged by the BJP except, of course, those of Delhi, Bihar and Punjab where the party met its Waterloo. Then came the Gujarat’s polls which were won by the ruling party but only by the skin of the teeth. The Prime Minister felt the heat of the campaign run by the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and the high-sounding slogans raised by the BJP chief Amit Shah went voiceless. The party won Gujarat, the home state of the Prime Minister and BJP President, but lost its glory. In Uttar Pradesh the Prime Minister drew a line between the Shamshan Ghat and graveyard giving communal colour to the campaign. In Gujarat, Narendra Modi even blamed Pakistan for meddling with the state elections. It was a prestigious election for him to win which he did but with a long face. The Congress was defeated but its stock was raised.
Now the Karnataka election is also an acid test. If the BJP regains power, the entry to the south will open. Otherwise, the party would increase the number of states in its kitty but remain an alien force in the south. The party ruled the state once but lost power due to corrupt practices by the then Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa. His cabinet colleagues were also not above the board. Yeddyurappa was given clean chit in the corruption case, but the Supreme Court allowed reopening of the case. The fact is known to the BJP leadership but still he was made the party chief and under his stewardship, the election is being fought. The irony of the circumstances is that the Prime Minister has made corruption the key issue of the campaign when the BJP leadership is itself tainted. Last time he alleged that the Congress government was a commission sarkar drawing the angry remark from the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah that Narendra Modi was unfit to be the Prime Minister of the country. Again the refrain of his campaign is the same.
While addressing an election rally in Mysuru on February 19, in a more sarcastic way, he referred to his old remark and said people were upset and he got messages that he was wrong. The people told him, he said, that the commission was not 10 per cent but more. Such sweeping remarks throwing allegations on the rivals are not becoming of his stature. In few election speeches, the Prime Minister said neither he would take bribe nor allow anyone to take it. How is he allowing the Karnataka government to go the corrupt way under Yeddyurappa? The centre has anti-corruption authorities the IT, ED and the CBI. If corruption is so rampant in the state, these departments cannot remain spectator. Why action is not taken, everybody would ask the Prime Minister. He said that the Siddaramaiah government was involved in ‘commission’, while the BJP government would work with the spirit of ‘mission’. The people will be rest assured that if the BJP came to power in the state, it would work with the same mission as the government at the centre is working, he said. No promise is fulfilled, no employment programme is taken up, allowing the economy to go down, economic defaulters Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi to leave the country after transferring huge funds to other countries. This is Modi’s way of working with the mission spirit.
The Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has taken up numerous welfare schemes for almost all sections of people particularly the poor, down-trodden and minorities. PM’s allegations and his oratory skills may not click in Karnataka.