I Took Up The Prime Minister’s Challenge!

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Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, few days back, challenged the Congress President Rahul Gandhi to deliver speech on the work done by Congress in Karnataka, for 15 minutes without referring to any notes or paper. I tried my hands at it and wrote a speech that I would give, had I been in Mr. Gandhi’s place.

“Namaskara Karnataka!

Today, I stand on the soil which is known for its rich culture and tradition. The history of this state dates back to nearly two millennia. Our hearts should bloat with pride today for the history culture and development of our ever-flourishing state of Karnataka has been contributed by major empires and dynasties. You haven’t forgotten the Gangai of the Kalinga, the Chalukyas if the Vengi or the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri, have you? You, the very own children of the state have many reasons to be proud about your homeland’s rich heritage.

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You should feel proud, for Karnataka is known for its art nationwide. It’s theatre culture which is popularly known as Rangabhoomi is a jewel that sits on the crown of the state. The Kannadigas are also known for their intricate hand carvings. Your very own state has the largest and the oldest gold mines at the Kolar gold field. You should be proud of it as well, for it has been offering employment opportunities to you at the mines and industries. And of course, now Bengaluru, the capital of the state is one of the significant cities in the industrial and software field.

However, I haven’t forgotten the suffering that the state which has given you so much, went through in the five years of the BJP rule. I cannot forget how the state suffered in terms of development, governance and economic growth because that was when you put your faith in Congress and we promised you a clean and transparent administration. An administration which will always keep the betterment of your state as its top priority.

Few days back, Prime Minister Modi Ji challenged me give a speech on the work done be Congress in Karnataka for 15 minutes without referring to any paper. I am standing in front of you without any paper today because I am keeping my heart open in front of you and not really delivering a speech. I do not believe in cheap tricks to bring someone down. You cannot really forget something you did, good or bad. You don’t need any paper to refer from in speaking about them.

When we made you those promises, we pledged to ourselves that we will reach every person of the state. Even the ones in the tail end of Karnataka for they deserve food, shelter, education and employment too. I hope, Modi Ji, that even you didn’t forget the work that the BJP did before Karnataka elected us five years back. This is because, we took it upon ourselves to pull our people out from the puddle of chaos that you had created in the state. We made sure that we bring in programmes and schemes that would provide relief and positively impact every person of the state.

You haven’t really spoken about Karnataka without mentioning the farmers in the conversation. Farmers are one of the most important assets of the state. They are our food-givers. However, it is sad that they are often burdened under the debts and lack of money to buy even a small farming equipment. It gives me a sense of pride when 56 year old Raju chacha created a poly house and put up shade nets to grow high value vegetables so that he could earn higher income for his family using the assistance provided under the Krishi Bhagya scheme. We freed the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the backward classes and the minorities from the clutches of the debt burden. The loans on their heads were cleared under the Runamukta Bhagya scheme. These people are now eligible to fresh loans to take up new economic activities they want.

The next step towards the development of the state was to empower the students who really deserve it but can not afford it. Due to this, the state was being deprived of 100s of brilliant young minds. Hence, to ignite those minds, we launched the Vidya Siri scheme. Just like Nandan, many other students avoided higher studies for they couldn’t afford the lodging and boarding fees. We payed 1,500 rupees every month for their fees to encourage them.

Like it is rightly said, for a structure of blocks to stand firm, every single block needs to be placed right. Similarly, for a state to flourish, it is necessary that the people from every section of the society are empowered. Who should take the responsibility? It should be the people of the state along with the government in place who can ensure this together. We have the power and heart to take care of every other person of our state because we are a family. Congress, in its capacity, sometimes, beyond its capacity has put in sincere efforts to nurture them.

Today, when I walk down the streets of Karnataka and see happy, satisfied faces, my heart overflows with joy. Congress still wants to continue serving the people of Karnataka. No other party and no mockery can ever put us down and stop us from serving you because you are our priority. We want to help Karnataka in flourishing ever more. However, for that, we need your support.

Will you support Congress in the upcoming Karnataka elections again? Will you give Congress another chance to serve you one more time? Trust me when I say this, the power is only in your hands.

With that note, in hopeful spirits, I take your leave. Thank you, the people of Karnataka!”

After witnessing a series of rallies, campaigning, pointing fingers and debates, Karnataka is finally set for for the election. Tomorrow is a big day!

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