PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi on Tuesday called the Siddaramaiah-led Congress administration in Karnataka a “seeda rupaiya’’ government that does not work unless it gets “seeda rupaiya” — or direct bribes. Modi alleged that several central government-funded programmes had stalled in the state on account of demand for bribes.
Addressing a farmers’ rally organised by the BJP in the central Karnataka district of Davangere to mark the 75th birthday of the party’s state unit president and chief minister candidate B S Yeddyurappa, the Prime Minister accused the state government of failing to spend central funds in areas of agriculture, nutrition and education.
“People think the Siddaramaiah government is in power in Karnataka, when it is actually the ‘seeda rupaiya’ government, where work gets done only if there is seeda rupaiya (direct bribe). Do you want this ‘seeda rupaiya’ culture?” Modi asked, rhyming the phrase “seeda rupaiya” with the Chief Minister’s name, Siddaramaiah. “The ‘seeda rupaiya’ government should go and an honest government must come to power.”
Karnataka, he said, needs a government that “hears the voice of the people”. Modi said, “It is clear in our hearts that the people of Karnataka are good, hardworking…the people of Karnataka are ones who will do something for the country. If Karnataka progresses, the country will also progress, and the strength of the country will increase. We help the state government in an open manner but until the 10-per cent (commission) matter is settled, work does not happen over here.”
The Karnataka government has been unable to spend money to the tune of Rs 21,400 crore that has been allocated to the state by the Centre, Modi said. Nearly Rs 5,000 crore allocated for nutrition programmes remains unspent and nearly Rs 4,000 crore is unspent in the education sector, Modi claimed. “This is a government that does not work,” he maintained.
Taking a dig at the Nehru-Gandhi family, Modi said, “One family that has ruled the country for 48 years has not done what a tea seller has done in 48 months. We brought cold storage, e-market and a lot of other measures to improve the profit of farmers.”
He said, “Our aim is to double the income of farmers by using scientific methods. Soil cards are helping farmers understand their soil situation and farmers are now spending wisely on seeds and fertilisers and their produce is increasing.”
At the rally, the PM flagged off a BJP initiative to collect a fistful of grain from farmers around the state in an effort to show solidarity with the farming community. The grain collected from each district will be used to cook a meal for the general public at a temple, mutt or historical place at each district headquarters between March 12 and 15.
Modi likened the initiative to his efforts to build the Statue of Unity in Gujarat by collecting iron from all villages in the state.