Even as he lampooned the Bharatiya Janata Party over the various scams that surfaced during its tenure, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi handed out a warning to his own party colleagues while addressing a large gathering in Tumkur on Friday.

Assuring those who turned up for his rally in Tumkur, he said that his party would not tolerate if any Congress candidate after getting elected to the Legislative Assembly indulged in corruption. “They will be dealt with strictly,” he said. He had a similar advice to his partymen at Haveri as well.

In a speech that was otherwise replete with barbs against the BJP, he told his own party men: “If you do not work for the people, do not listen to the problems of people and do not stay with the people then you will not have a place in the Congress.” In what is part of his second leg of campaigning, Mr. Gandhi also visited Mysore.

In Haveri, targeting the BJP’s national leadership, he accused them of duality and said that while they acted like they are fighting corruption in Delhi, they are ignoring the massive corruption that happened under BJP rule in Karnataka.

Accusing the BJP of setting a “world record” in corruption yet again, just as he did in his first leg of campaign, he said that Bangalore and Karnataka were seen as IT hubs when the Congress was in power.

“If you go to any place and ask anyone now, they will say that BJP government in Karnataka has broken the world record in corruption,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Giving his own explanation for why corruption grew so much in Karnataka after BJP came to power, Mr. Gandhi said that it all started with the BJP giving the responsibility of bringing the party to power to the Reddy brothers who had money power and naturally the government that came into power was not of the people but a Bellary government of the Reddy brothers.

Engaging the crowd during an interactive session, he said what should have ideally happened was that the iron ore which was extracted in Karnataka should have been used within the country for production of steel and subsequently exported. “However, the opposite happened. They took your land, sold the iron ore to China and with the help of money power occupied Vidhana Soudha where they framed laws that benefitted the Reddy brothers”, Mr. Gandhi said.

Call for change

In Mysore, Mr. Gandhi called upon the people of the State to vote for a change.

The BJP had “destroyed” the fair name Karnataka had earned in the past during its governance in five years, Mr. Gandhi remarked. Continuing his tirade against the BJP, he said the government had only indulged in loot of natural wealth ignoring the development aspects in the State.

Says party will not tolerate if any Congress candidate indulges in corruption