Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that the BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claimed to be followers of 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara, were actually acting against his ideology.
Addressing a massive public rally in Vijayapura on Sunday evening, the Congress leader focused mostly on what Basaveshwara propagated and how the BJP leaders and its governments were allegedly doing things contrary to that.
Mr. Gandhi, who visited Koodalasangama in Bagalkot and offered puja at Basavanna’s ‘Aikya Mantapa’ earlier in the day, said he had read about Basavanna and his ideology. “Basavannaji talked about treating everyone equally and not to differentiate between rich and poor, caste and community. He spoke about the welfare of the poor people. He did not say give money to the rich like Adani,” he said.
He said Basavanna had asked people not to be afraid of telling the truth whatever might be the consequences.“I sought to know what is the relationship between the Prime Minister and Adani. First they switched of my mic in the Parliament, then they deleted my speech from the records. Afterwards they sent me out of Parliament. It is not that truth should be only spoken in Parliament. Truth can be spoken anywhere,” he said.
Referring to the BJP government in Karnataka as the most corrupt government in the country, he said, “The ‘40% sarkar’ will get 40 seats only and Congress will get 150 seats. Prime Minister Modi speaks against corruption. And at his rallies the corrupt sit on his either side.”
Mr. Gandhi said that as the BJP leaders speak a lot about Basavanna; he in fact searched books on Basavanna to find out whether there was any mention about helping the rich and getting 40% commission. “What the BJP leaders speak on Basavanna and what they do is totally contrary to each other, he said.
He claimed that Congress had actually drawn its programmes based on what Basavanna had said. “Basavanna has spoken about welfare of women, and we came up with Grihalaxmi programme. We want equality and equal opportunities for all. So we will given 200 units of power for free and stipend for the unemployed youths,” he said.
During his speech, he dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the details of the caste census carried out and demanded that reservation should be based on the population and the 50% ceiling on reservation should be done away with.
Quoting the experience of Bharat Jodo Yatra, he said while BJP and RSS ideology was of hatred and violence, that of Congress was uniting the country on the basis of love and brotherhood. Former Minister M.B. Patil translated Mr. Gandhi’s speech into Kannada.
Earlier, Mr. Gandhi began his procession by garlanding the statue of Shivaji Maharaj. A large number of people took part in the rally.