Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched his campaign blitzkrieg in Karnataka, unleashing a blistering attack on Rahul Gandhi and daring him "to speak in any language" for 15 minutes about the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government without reading out from a piece of paper.
He accused the state's Congress government, which he claimed was steeped in corruption, of thwarting the Centre's efforts for development.
Hitting out at the Congress president, Modi also said those currently leading the party had "no understanding" of history and the country's legacy.
"I challenge you (Rahul Gandhi) to speak for 15 minutes on the achievements of your government in Karnataka without reading from any piece of paper. You can speak in Hindi, English or your mother tongue (Italian)," he told an election rally in the state.
Modi was responding to Rahul Gandhi's dare to him to allow him to speak for 15 minutes in Parliament on various issues, including corruption, and that the prime minister will not be able to sit for 15 minutes.
His (Rahul Gandhi) speaking for 15 minutes itself will be a big thing. He had challenged me that if he speaks for 15 minutes then I will not be able to stand in front of him. Yes,you are right, you are a ‘naamdar‘, what right do we ‘kaamdaars’ have to even sit in front of you,” Modi’s said.
Addressing the first of the 15 election rallies he is scheduled to address over the next few days, Modi claimed, "A storm and not a simple wave" was blowing in the BJP's favour in the state.
Greeting the workers on the occasion of "May Day", Modi also took a dig at Gandhi for not acknowledging the contribution of workers towards 100 per cent electrification of villages achieved under his government.
"April 28th is a day that will be written in golden letters in country's history because our hardworking people made electricity reach the last unelectrified village Leisang in Manipur.
But the new leader of the Congress did not utter two words of praise for the workers who made it possible," Modi said.