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Modi pans JD(S)-Cong govt over 'development-free corruption'

Modi pans JD(S)-Cong govt over development-free corruption

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched on Friday a scathing attack on Congress party saying the opposition party won the elections by 'hook or crook', in an apparent reference to the recent Assembly poll debacle in three states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Tearing into the Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka, Modi accused it of being "steeped" in arrogance and interested only in "development-free corruption" and exhorted party workers to follow the mantra of 'Mera Booth Sabse Mazboot' to ensure victory in the next general elections.

"They can get away with anything. But the people of Karnataka and people of India are watching them and their actions. The people will soon teach them a lesson for the misgovernance. People want corruption-free government, but Karnataka government wants development-free corruption."

PM interacted with BJP's booth-level workers of Belagavi, Bidar, Dharwad, Haveri and Davangere through video conferencing as part of the party's 'Mera Booth Sabse Mazboot' programme—aimed at energising them ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Making a scathing attack on the coalition government in Karnataka of JDS and Congress, he further added that farm loan waiver by the state government was the 'most cruel' joke on farmers.

"What they have done in the name of loan waivers will go down in history as one of the cruellest jokes on farmers. After six months in power, news reports say that the government could only benefit a handful of farmers with their loan waiver scheme," he accused while addressing the party workers of Belagavi constituency.

Comparing the state of affairs in Karnataka with that of rest of the country under BJP-led governments, Modi also described numerous measures and initiatives taken by his government in sectors like MSMEs, tourism and education that have transformed these sectors. Asserting that the development of youth was central to his government's policy, he said it focused on four 'E's—education, employment, entrepreneurship and excellence--to help them. Concluding his wide-ranging interaction at Haveri, PM mentioned, "I am very clear that small and medium enterprises can truly unlock large change in economic activity in our country. These small and medium businesses are growth engines that fuel the economy. They are the seeds through which innovation and employment takes birth on the ground."

In the last four years, he said, the government set up seven IITs, seven IIMs, one NIT, 14 IIITs, and 103 Kendriya Vidyalayas. The number of undergraduate medical seats increased from 50,000 in 2013-14 to 70,000 now. Postgraduate seats went up, too, from 25,000 in 2013-14 to 33,000 now. 2,400 Atal Tinkering Centers were created to boost innovation, he added further.

The booth-level outreach is aimed at energising party cadre ahead of the impending Lok Sabha elections. Modi said people of Karnataka had reposed faith in the BJP.

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