PM Modi also mocked Karnataka govt's much vaunted loan waiver scheme as one of the 'most cruel jokes' on farmers.
Bengaluru: Tearing into the Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused it of being "steeped" in arrogance and interested only in "development-free corruption".
Targeting the ruling coalition over its contradictions and power struggle, PM Modi said it seemed as if they were in power "only to play musical chair", and mocked its much vaunted loan waiver scheme as one of the "most cruel jokes" on farmers.
PM Modi said those in power think that just because they had formed a government "by hook or crook" they can get away with anything, but people would soon teach them a lesson for misgovernance.
"People want corruption-free government, but Karnataka government wants development-free corruption," PM Modi told BJP's booth-level workers of the state, while mounting a trenchant attack on the ruling dispensation.
The interaction with the BJP's polling booth-level functionaries through video conferencing was part of the party's 'Mera Booth Sabse Mazboot' outreach aimed at galvanising the organisational apparatus ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections.
Referring to reported squabbles between the ruling alliance partners, PM Modi said, "I can understand the pain of the people of Karnataka. Every day there is news only about who is happy or who is unhappy. And for what? For some ministerial posts.”
“It seems as if people are in power in Karnataka only to play musical chair," PM Modi said.
He told party workers that when those in power were not interested in the welfare of people, it was their duty to become "the voice of the people".
The Prime Minister asked BJP workers to "wake up" the government from slumber. Talking about agrarian distress and farmer suicides, he accused the H D Kumaraswamy government of being "steeped in arrogance".
Targeting the state government over its much touted loan waiver scheme, he said, "What they have done in the name of loan waiver will go down in the history as one of the most cruel jokes on farmers. After six months in power, news reports say the government could only benefit a handful of farmers."
The government had announced a massive Rs 44,000 crore loan waiver scheme in July but its implementation has been tardy, drawing criticism from the BJP which is cooling its heels in the opposition despite emerging as the single largest party after assembly elections.
The state government had admitted in the recently concluded assembly session that only about 800 farmers had benefited from the scheme.
"These people go around the country claiming credit for what they have done for farmers. Will they also take credit for the farmers committing suicide in Karnataka?" PM Modi said.
It was an apparent riposte to the announcement by the newly formed Congress governments of Hindi heartland states-- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan-- to write off agricultural loans following the party's victory in the recent assembly elections.
PM Modi also attacked the Karnataka government over 52 people, including 17 women and 4 children, allegedly being subjected to bonded labour in Hassan district, calling it "inhuman".
"Did you hear any words of empathy from anyone in power about the brutal treatment given to dalits? Those in power think that just because they have formed a government by hook or crook they can get away with anything. But the people of Karnataka and people of India are watching them and their actions. The people will soon teach them a lesson for misgovernance," he said.
When a party worker said many people who were not even BJP members wanted him to become the prime minister for a second time, and asked him how the cadre should respond to it, PM Modi thanked him for the "encouraging" words.
"If 'karyakartas' (cadre) are life blood of our party, the spiritof volunteerism is the oxygen in the blood. When people come to us to volunteer, let us welcome them with open arms and openminds. No ID card is needed to serve a great cause," he said.
PM Modi said it was natural for professionals to veer towards the BJP as it was not a family controlled party and stood for development.
The Prime Minister said such volunteers would further strengthen the BJP and help it establish better rapport with common people.
During the interaction that lasted around 30 minutes, PM Modi also talked about a slew of initiatives of his government to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and the youth by following the principle of four 'Es'--education, employment, entrepreneurship and excellence.