Ibrahim said a leader should build houses for the poor and not temples and mosques

Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate M. Narendra Modi’s repeated visits to Karnataka indicate “panic” among the BJP ranks and the “failure” of its marketing team here to counter the assembly backlash before the upcoming general elections, said former union minister C.M. Ibrahim here on Wednesday.

Addressing the first of a series of rallies in the city to campaign for Congress candidate B. Janardhana Poojary, Mr. Ibrahim said ten months ago the state had “rejected” the BJP for its corruption, misgovernance, and its policies.

“The BJP doesn’t talk about what it has done in the state. It talks only about Modi…He is the batsman, bowler and fielder here,” he said.

In a speech peppered with caustic barbs – including satirising the “blue film” watching episode of BJP legislators in the Assembly – he said the BJP had abandoned its chants of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ for ‘Har Har Modi’.

“There are no principles left in the party. Senior leaders who built the party have been sidelined, and instead Modi with the backing of the corporate has been pushed to the forefront. The old BJP is gone, now it is a one-man dictatorship where might is right,” he said.

Regarding the BJP manifesto promise of Ram Mandir, he said the job of a politician was to build houses for the poor and not temples and mosques. Similarly, on the “oft-promised” Uniform Civil Code, he said in a country of diverse beliefs, it wasn’t a politician’s job to determine how couples marry.

Mr. Ibrahim took on the “Gujarat model of development”, saying that a recent survey showed Karnataka above Gujarat in industrial development. “The model of development is a sham. Malnutrition is rampant – which Modi is says is because Gujarati girls like to maintain their figures – poverty is high, farmer suicides continue, health indices are bad. No Lokayukta has been appointed in 12 years, policemen and ministers are in jail for their roles in the riots. Only an environment of fear has been developed,” he said.

Laying emphasis on Anna Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya, Rs. 2 per school day to girl students, loan waivers, Scheduled Tribe status for Mogaveeras, insurance for autorickshaw drivers, Mr. Ibrahim said the “Siddaramaiah wave” would bring at least 20 seats to the Congress from the state.

Similarly, referring to the caste-based census announced by the state government, KPCC secretary K.P Nanjundi said the schemes for the backward and depressed classes announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will pay fruit these elections.

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