Kundapura (Karnataka), May 12 : Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Monday said Karnataka has lost its tag of being a progressive state.
He said this while on a campaign trail ahead of the second phase of Assembly elections in the state.
Addressing a public meeting in Kundapura in the state's Udupi District, Gandhi pointed that the southern state has been lagging behind in all aspects when compared to other states due to a 'confused' government, which had overlooked the needs and problems of the state.
"I have been travelling to numerous states. In my mind, Karnataka was always one of the leading states, one of the fastest growing, most progressive state in India. But, I am sad to say that you have lost your place, there are other states that have overtaken you, that are going faster than you and that are progressive and faster than you," said Gandhi.
"This has happened because you have a government, you had a government that did not show you the way, you had a government, that was confused and that was not interested in solving the fundamental problems of the state," added Gandhi.
While targeting the previous ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in Karnataka, he condemned the BJP for the Kandahar Indian Airlines plane hijack drama of December 1999, where hostages were exchanged for dreaded militants.
He pledged to bring the required development and stability to the state if the Congress was voted to power.
Rahul's five-day visit to Karnataka is being described as a source of inspiration for the party's young brigade.
A majority of the young leaders in Karnataka felt that Rahul's visit would help youngsters to take up the mantle of leadership.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi will also campaign for the second phase of Assembly elections in Karnataka on May 13.
According to Congress sources, Sonia will address poll rallies in Koppal and Mangalore.
Of the 224 Assembly segments in the state, 66 will go to polls in the second phase on May 16 and the remaining 69 in the third phase on May 22.
On May 11, an average of 66 per cent polling was registered in the first phase of elections in the segments spread over 11 districts.
In the first phase of Karnataka Assembly polls, 66 per cent of 1.73 crore electorate exercised their franchise in 89 of the total 224 constituencies in the dominant Vokkaliga belt, home turf of Janata Dal Secular (JD-S) leader H D Deve Gowda and Congress strongman S M Krishna.
This is higher than the 65.07 per cent average polled in the 224 assembly segments in the 2004 polls.