Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday upped the ante against rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former CM BS Yeddyurappa in the run up to the state Assembly elections, where polling is scheduled to be held on May 12.
In a newspaper ad in Bengaluru dailies, the Congress leader has challenged PM Modi and BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Yeddyurappa for an open debate, accusing them of making false accusations and allegations on the party ruling the state.
Asserting that “we have delivered as promised” the Karnataka Congress has asked in the advertisement, “Stop making false accusations, allegations. Why not debate with facts and let the people of Karnataka decide who is truthful”.
“In the interest of 6.5 crore Kannadiga’s future, let us have an open debate about our plans for Karnataka before the people of the state. I am open to come to any place on the date and time suggested by you both,” said Siddaramaiah in the newspaper ad. The ad also carries a signature of the Karnataka Chief Minister.
Posting the ad on Twitter, Siddaramaiah said, “PM Modi is deliberately confusing Karnataka voters with his bombastic speeches on non-issues. All hot air & no substance. My contest is not with him. It is with Yaddyurappa. I challenge him to an open debate on issues on a single platform. Will he accept? Modi is also welcome!”
The ad comes amid fierce war of words between the two main rivals in the Karnataka Assembly elections. Both the BJP and the Congress, led by PM Modi and party president Rahul Gandhi respectively, have accused each other of making false promises to the people.
In a tweet late on Sunday night, Rahul Gandhi once again accused PM Modi of taking false credit for work done by the Congress party.
He tweeted, “The Karnataka Govt’s revolutionary SC/ST sub plan, allocates 24% of all resources to Dalits & Adivasis as per their % of population. Since PM Modi is skilled at repackaging & claiming credit for Congress schemes, this is a good one for him to copy centrally.”
On Sunday, the Congress president had targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), saying their “fascist ideology” is that members of Dalit and tribal community “must continue to exist at the bottom rung of society”.