Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI Photo
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi challenged the Congress president to talk for 15 minutes about the achievements of the Karnataka government without looking at a paper.

Santemaranahalli: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched his campaign blitzkrieg in Karnataka, unleashing a blistering attack on Rahul Gandhi and daring him “to speak in any language” for 15 minutes about the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government without reading out from piece of paper.

He accused the state’s Congress government, which he claimed was steeped in corruption, of thwarting the Centre’s efforts for development.

Hitting out at the Congress president, Modi also said those currently leading the party had “no understanding” of history and the country’s legacy.

“I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of the party government…

people of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion,” he told an election rally here.

Modi was responding to Rahul Gandhi’s dare to him to allow him to speak for 15 minutes in Parliament on various issues, including corruption, and that the prime minister will not be able to sit for 15 minutes.

“His speaking for 15 minutes will itself is a big thing. And when I hear that I would not be able to sit, I think…wow, what a scene it is? Congress president, Sir, we cannot sit before you. You are ‘naamdar’ (famous), while I am ‘kaamdar’ (ordinary worker). We have no status to sit in front of you,” he said.

Modi’s dare may also be a subtle reference to the 2015 controversy on Rahul Gandhi when the Congress leader copied a condolence note from his Blackberry mobile on to the visitors’ book at Nepal  embassy. Rahul was seen copying a message from his mobile to express solidarity with the victims of the massive earthquake that hit Nepal that year.

Addressing the first of the 15 election rallies he is scheduled to address over the next few days, Modi claimed, “A storm and not a simple wave” was blowing in the BJP’s favour in the state.

Greeting the workers on the occasion of “May Day”, Modi also took a dig at Gandhi for not acknowledging the contribution of workers towards 100 per cent electrification of villages achieved under his government.

“April 28th is a day that will be written in golden” letters in country’s history, because our hardworking people” made electricity reach the last unelectrified village Leisang in Manipur.

“But the new leader of the Congress did not utter two words of praise for the workers who made it possible,” Modi said.

– PTI

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