Continuing where All-India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi left off, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his election rallies in Hubli and Bangalore on Monday attacked the “misrule and corruption” of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka, while promising the State’s return to the path of progress if his party is voted to power.

Harping on Karnataka’s “good old days”, he said, “When the country initiated the liberalisation process in the 1990s, Karnataka was in the forefront in making use of it and developed IT and other industries.”

He addressed election rallies at Nehru Stadium in Hubli and at Kumbalgod in Yehshwantpur Assembly constituency. People braved the rain to listen to him in Bangalore. Mr. Singh said that it was the hard work of the people of Karnataka that had made progress possible under the Congress. All that, he said, had been reversed during five years of the BJP government. “Karnataka once used to show the way to the country, but now it is lagging behind.”

He said that though Karnataka had witnessed drought in the last two years, the BJP had done next to nothing. “The BJP government didn’t even implement the projects under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) for which Central funds were released.” The Prime Minister emphasised that there was a lack of development in places where minority communities resided in large numbers and they also did not have security.

“Congress will give you a corruption-free government that will usher in prosperity for all,” he said, listing out programmes of the Congress-led UPA government, claiming that poverty levels had come down in the last nine years.

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