In a pungent attack on Janata Dal (Secular) of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday dubbed it a "B-team" of BJP and nicknamed JDS as "Janata Dal Sangh Parivar."
Taking on JDS on its turf in old Mysuru region, where it is the principal challenger to ruling Congress, Gandhi said earlier 'S' in JDS stood for secular, "but in this election they have got a new name JDS- Janata Dal Sangh Parivar."
On his fourth round of tour in poll-bound Karnataka, Gandhi said the coming assembly polls was a face-off between two ideologies on one side BJP and RSS and on the other the Congress.
"In between there is third party which is the B team of BJP that is JDS," the Congress president said at a public rally here in Mandya district, the Vokkaliga belt considered a JDS stronghold.
He told the gathering, "I will tell you. Let BJP's A team, B team or C team come together. Congress party is going to win this election."
Stating that the Congress believed in the ideology of 12th century saint, social reformer Basavanna, Gandhi said JDS call themselves secular, "but they have become the B team of BJP and are supporting them."
Quoting Basavanna's saying "nudidante made" (follow what you preach), Gandhi said JDS had to think about what Basavanna said. "They (JDS) preach something and do something else," he said. Gandhi also alleged that BJP and JDS wherever they go spread lies.
"BJP is a party that believes in dividing the country, we will have to defeat them." He asserted that the Congress would win the elections in Karnataka because "it is not a new fight, but is a very old fight."
Earlier speaking at Chamarajanagar, Gandhi accused the BJP of "attacking" the Constitution and vowed to thwart any attempt to change the statute.
Addressing a rally after visiting a temple of Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of Mysuru, he said the BJP was not only snatching away people's money through note ban and GST, but "there is new fashion now, they are attacking the constitution."
"Hear it from here. We will not allow the BJP to change the constitution. How much ever BJP forces its way to change the constitution, we will make sure that the Congress will protect the work of Ambedkarji," he told the gathering.
In his current two-day visit, Gandhi is covering Mandya, Mysuru and Chamarajnagar districts. He had earlier toured the northern, coastal and Malnad regions.
The Congress president accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being "insensitive" towards problems related to jobs and demonetization. "I interacted with young students this morning. One of the girl students stood up and asked me about Narendra Modiji's promise to give two crore jobs every year and his "Make In India" programme...but that turned out to be an empty promise and there was no weight behind those words," he said. The rally was held here as part of "Janashirvada Yatre."
Gandhi said nobody has benefited from the note ban and questioned the rationale of having five different GST rates, including 28 per cent.
"A girl stands up and says nobody has been benefited by the note ban. Another girl stands up and says why are there five separate rates, including 28 per cent." "It only means that the students aged between 18 to 20 years have understood the problems, but Narendra Modji is yet to understand," he added.
The Congress chief began his speech by invoking Tipu Sultan, the 18th century Mysore ruler, Krishnaraja Wodayar, 24th Maharaja of erstwhile Mysore kingdom, Sir M Vishveshwariah, renowned engineer, and Kuvempu, Kannada poet, by remembering their contributions to Karnataka and India.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|