Rahul Gandhi followed in his mother’s footsteps and chose Bellary as the destination for his rally. The Congress party greeted the party president to kick-off their ‘Jana Ashirvada Yatra’ in Bellary. The intention was to counter the claims made by the Prime Minister in his address at Bengaluru.
In 1999 Sonia Gandhi the newly elected Congress president had contested her maiden elections from Bellary. Bellary has shared a long history with the Gandhi’s as mentioned by Rahul Gandhi in his speech. Unlike Modi, Rahul Gandhi had a translator with him to translate his entire speech into Kannada. While he didn’t overestimate the kannadigas’ Hindi proficiency the voice of his speech was quite similar to that of Modi’s. He began by making it very clear that the only competition in the elections was the BJP completely undermining the JD(S) and BSP alliance.
He began by thanking all those present, he also touched on the matter of trust. Rahul Gandhi appealed to the population by asking them not to trust the words of politicians but their actions. He followed up the appeal with an expected promise of action and a pro-active Congress government as compared to the cheating, lying BJP government. The speech seemed well-rehearsed as he proceeded to compare running a state to driving cars. He said the Congress drives from the driver’s seat when it comes to Karnataka while Modi drives watching Karnataka in the rearview mirror. He promised that the government will be one made up of the youth, women and the labour force. He also pointed out Siddaramaiah’s clean government.
While accusations were plenty and the tally of promises high, there was little of what exactly the Congress government was actually going to do if it were to be voted into tenure. The speech basically sent out the message that whatever the BJP would do, Congress would do it better. He also mentioned that Modi spoke more about Congress than about the plan of action with regard to Karnataka. Not that he wasn’t correct, but Gandhi too spent a majority of his speech mentioning the Prime Minister. A notable allegation was that Modi had ‘seized’ the Rafale deal from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and given it to his ‘friend’. The deal he said belonged to the Bengaluru youth.
Over the course of the next few days while Rahul Gandhi spends his time around Karnataka. Gandhi also promised that whenever the people of Karnataka need him, he will be available. One can only wonder what other promises await the population of Karnataka, Christmas it seems has come early for the voters of Karnataka in 2018.