Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shivaraj Singh Chauhan on Wednesday termed AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s recent remarks that the BJP government in Karnataka has set a world record in corruption as an “insult to people of the State”.

“Karnataka’s capital Bangalore has a global fame. Mr. Gandhi’s statements which are aimed at electoral gains will defame the people of the entire State and the image of Bangalore. People of Karnataka will not tolerate this,” he told a press conference here.

Accusing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre of being involved in several scams such as 2G and coal allocations, he wondered why Mr. Gandhi did not speak of corruption while in Delhi.

Describing the UPA government as the “weakest as well as the most shameless and the most coward dispensation” in India’s history, he took exception to the government’s silence on China’s aggression and the issue involving Sarabjit Singh.

“If you do not send a strong message to China now, we may face a situation similar to 1962 when the Chinese troop attacked us even as India was trying to make peace with them,” he said.

He appealed to the people of the State to desist from attaching any value to the statements made by the Congress leaders during their campaign tour in Karnataka. “You must not trust those who have failed to protect our borders and check price rise,” he said.

Taking serious exception to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s allegations that minorities did not have proper security in Karnataka, he said that none of the BJP-ruled States had witnessed communal violence while such violence had occurred in Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Seeking to play down the crisis in the BJP which saw three Chief Ministers in the State, he said: “What is wrong in having three Chief Ministers during a term. In fact, I was became the third Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh during my party’s term. But I was re-elected as people supported me.” To another query why the BJP was projecting development work carried out by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi only, though he (Mr. Chauhan) too had taken up development work in Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Chauhan remarked: “Mr. Modi is like an elder brother as I am five years’ junior to him in the Chief Minister’s post.”

Criticised

Taking exception to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s allegation that development had taken a backseat in Karnataka during the BJP rule, Mr. Chauhan said: “It is Dr. Manmohan Singh who is ‘sitting in the backseat’ in the UPA government despite being the Prime Minister. The front seats are occupied by AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. That is why he always refers to the backseat.”

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