Bangalore, Nov 19: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday hit back at BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over his speech at the Sunday rally, saying the progress of the Information Technology industry in the country and the state was because of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and not Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
According to a report published in The Times of India on Tuesday, Siddaramaiah said Rajiv Gandhi's contribution to the IT sector was more than that of Vajpayee's NDA government. Modi had said at the Bharatha Gellisi rally on Sunday that Bangalore's development as the IT hub was made possible by the Vajpayee government's policies and the Congress had nothing to do with it.
The Congress used the birth anniversary programme of former prime minister Indira Gandhi on Tuesday to hit back at Modi, whom it accused of polarising the country on religious lines, the report said.
The Karnataka CM said Modi deliberately avoided the corruption issue
The Karnataka chief minister, who recently completed six months in office, also criticised Modi saying he did not know anything about history, foreign and social justice culture of India. He said this when asked about Modi's allegation that the Congress aimed to use the youth as a vote bank. He said the voting age in India was reduced to 18 years because Rajiv Gandhi wanted to empower the youth.
The chief minister also did not spare the BJP. He said Modi avoided the subject of corruption for he knew that his own party was thrown out of power owing to corruption. The BJP had a harrowing time in office after it formed its first government in the state in 2008. It had seen three chief ministers taking charge in five years after the first office-holder, B S Yeddyurappa, faced serious corruption charges and had to quit office.
Siddaramaiah said Modi would not make much impact in the state, where the Congress expects to make a substantial gain in the next Lok Sabha elections.