Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress and other opposition parties of being busy digging his grave, while he was striving for the development of the country and the welfare of the poor, as he also declared that blessings of the people was his biggest protection shield.
On his sixth visit this year to Karnataka, where Assembly elections are due by May, he also asserted that the "double engine" government is a necessity for the fast-paced development of the state.
"Amid the efforts of the double engine government for the development of the country and the progress of its people, what is Congress and its associates doing? ...Congress is dreaming about digging the kabr (grave) of Modi," said the PM, who inaugurated the 118 Km long Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway project here in Mandya district,
Addressing a public gathering here, he said, "Congress is busy digging the grave of Modi, while Modi is busy building Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway. Congress is busy digging Modi's grave, while Modi is busy in improving the lives of poor."
"Congress people who are dreaming about digging the grave of Modi, don't know that the blessings of crores of mothers, sisters, daughters, and people is the biggest protection shield for Modi," he added.
The Rs 8,480 crore Expressway, which involved six laning of the Bengaluru-Nidaghatta-Mysuru section of NH-275, will reduce the travel time between the two cities from around three hours to about 75 minutes, according to officials.
Prion to 2014, Modi said the Congress government at the Centre was "a coalition government running with the support of various types of people. It did not leave any stone unturned to destroy poor men and poor families.
The money that was there for the development of the poor, thousands of crores of rupees of it was looted by the Congress government."
The Congress never bothered about the pain and sufferings of the poor, he alleged, adding that "In 2014 when you (people) gave me the opportunity to serve you, it paved the way for the formation of a government for the poor in the country, the government which understood the pain and suffering of the poor."
The BJP government has made all efforts to serve the poor and to alleviate their sufferings.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Pralhad Joshi, actor-turned-politician and Mandya Lok Sabha MP Sumalatha Ambareesh, who recently announced support to BJP, were among those present at the event.
Earlier in the day, Modi threw flower petals back at the cheering crowd at several places as he was given a rousing welcome during a massive road show in the district headquarters city of Mandya.
He enthusiastically waved at the big crowd, who had lined up on both sides of the route, as the ruling BJP appeared focused on winning a good number of seats in the Old Mysuru region, the party's key weak link.
The Prime Minister picked up the shower petals which got piled up on the bonnet of his car and was seen hurling them back at the crowd. He also got down from his car and greeted folk artistes who staged a performance to welcome him.
Mandya in Old Mysuru region is a Vokkaliga community dominated district, largely seen as a bastion of JD(S), where the Congress too is strong, and the BJP is trying to make inroads.
According to senior party functionaries, BJP though has managed to emerge as the single largest party in the last couple of Assembly polls, fell short of majority due to continued poor show in the Old Mysuru region.
Sumalatha Ambareesh announcing her support to BJP is also likely to help the J P Nadda-led party in the upcoming polls.
The Old Mysuru region, where 89 seats (including 28 in Bengaluru) are up for grabs, is spread across 11 districts in south Karnataka including Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajnagar, Hassan and Kolar, and it is here that the BJP is now sharply focusing on.
In the 2018 polls, the BJP managed to win one seat in Hassan; later in the high-voltage 2019 bypolls, it managed to win the K R Pet seat, its first victory in Mandya district and also won Chikkaballapur, another first. Creating a history of sorts, the party bagged the Sira Assembly segment in Tumakuru district for the first time in the 2020 bypolls.
Modi said the double engine government's consistent effort is towards repaying people for their love with interest, through fast paced development, and added that the projects inaugurated or for which foundations were laid today is an effort in that direction.
Citing discussions across the country, especially on the social media regarding Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway, he said, it is the wish of the people especially the youth that such a magnificent and modern expressway should come up across the country. "Our youth are proud of this project."
Highlighting the thrust given to infrastructure in the budget, the PM said, infrastructure projects along with providing facilities, will also bring employment and investment.
He said, connecting Bengaluru and Mysuru known for technology and tradition respectively, with modern infrastructure, will create a lot of opportunities, like economic activities and tourism among others besides reducing traffic congestion.
Modi also laid the foundation stone for Mysuru-Kushalnagar 4 lane highway. Spread over 92 Km, the project will be developed at a cost of around Rs 4130 crores. The project will play a key role in boosting connectivity of Kushalnagar in Kodagu district with Bengaluru and will help halve the travel time from about 5 to only 2.5 hours.
Alleging that during Congress rule the poor had to run from pillar to post to get benefits of government schemes, the PM said under the BJP government, benefits go to the doorsteps of the poor.
He also mentioned the thrust given to ethanol production by his government which has benefited farmers in sugarcane producing regions of the country like Mandya.