Published: Mon, February 26, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Amit Shah & Rahul Gandhi battle it out in Karnataka

Amit Shah & Rahul Gandhi battle it out in Karnataka

Taking on the Narendra Modi-led government, Gandhi claimed that the Congress party had waived the loan of farmers but the prime minister had "waived the loans of select businessmen". "You first make us understand how did Nirav Modi take Rs 22,000 crore from Indian banks under the nose of Narendra Modi's government", he said. He said that tax had not been waived for industries, but it has "only been reduced a bit". Our government is going to complete 48 months this May.

"You have adequate money to waive corporate loans of Rs. 17,15,000 crore and don't have money to waive farm loans of Rs. 12,60,000 crore". When BJP national joint secretary (organisation) B L Santosh translated it to Kannada, the crowd roared, "No!" "I have received feedback from volunteers that no other part of Karnataka is as backward and undeveloped as Mr Kharge's constituency", said Amit Shah, as reported by news agency ANI.

Gandhi, who has been on tour in Karnataka since Saturday-his second of four scheduled visits before mid-March when campaigning for the 2018 assembly elections is likely to move up a gear-has continued his Gujarat campaigning style of visiting religious places, offering prayers and making unscheduled stops to meet locals.

Modi also said that the Congress would be left only with V.Narayanasamy as its Chief Minister from June onwards, as the party will be sent out in the three northeastern states where elections are being held, and similarly be voted out in Karnataka. "The last time I was in Karnataka, I went to the Anubhava Mantapa and realised that Basavanna's thinking is there in our Constitution", the Congress chief said, while addressing the Janashirvada Yatra at Chikkapadasalagi village in Bagalkot District. He also told them that farmers' suicides had hit a high in Karnataka and the state needed a "supportive BJP government" for their lot to recover.

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"If the BJP comes to power in Karnataka... within 90 days sugar mills would have to make payment to the farmers, as done in Uttar Pradesh".

He also heaped praise on Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for waving off loans worth "Rs. 8000 crores".

Another point that Shah made, likening the Siddaramaiah government to the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad who ruled this region upto 1948, a full year after Indian independence, got cheers from the crowd.

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