Targeting the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday said in a democracy if one person is made a god, it will not be democracy, but will become an autocracy. He called on all sections of the society, especially SC/ST and other weaker sections to unite for safeguarding the Constitution and democracy.
The veteran leader further while pointing at Modi projecting his Gujarati identity while seeking votes during Gujarat polls, urged people to vote for the Congress during upcoming elections in Karnataka, while highlighting that he too is son of the soil here and asked people support him, his party and its leaders.
"For every thing Modi, in a democracy if you make one person a god, it is not democracy it is autocracy, it will lead to dictatorship. Think about it. You have to know your rights and you should fight to get it," Kharge said. He was addressing the "Aikyata Samavesh", a large convention of SC/ST communities organised by Karnataka Congress in the run-up to the Assembly polls, which is likely by April-May.
Kharge further said, "if you have strength, if you are united, you will have value. If you are not united, the divide and rule principle which the British used and now Modi is using, will be applied on you by everyone else in the society. Keep this in mind."
The goal should be to protect the democracy in the country, and to safeguard the Constitution, he said, if the Constitution and democracy is there, one can ask for reservation, promotions, and can become MLA or a Minister. The AICC chief suggested that lakhs of people are joining Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his "Bharat Jodo Yatra", an nationwide march which he is undertaking, because it focuses on unemployment, price rise, among other issues.
"There are more than 30 lakh job vacancies in the government sector, Modi is not filling them, why? We have to question and demand for it to be filled. Out of 30 lakh, 15 lakh is for SC/ST and OBCs, these are assured jobs," he said. "They (ruling BJP administration) are not recruiting to fill up these vacancies, because, if poor get jobs and get money into their hand, their (BJP) game will be over. So they are recruiting people on daily wages and contract basis for jobs," he added.
Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah, state Congress chief D K Shivakumar, AICC General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, were among a host of party leaders who attended the event. Stating that we should question the government which is silent on its promise to provide two crore jobs every year, Kharge said, "Did anyone ask? No. When Modi comes only Modi, Modi slogans echo and when Amit Shah comes Shah, Shah slogans, ask them about jobs."
Highlighting unemployment, farmers issues among others, he said, "Despite all this, why are the people, also those belonging to SC/ST communities, quiet? Why didn't you fight? It is your fundamental right provided under the constitution." Alleging that progressive thinkers and writers, who write in favour of the poor or against the ruling dispensation and its policies, are directly sent to jail, and there is no freedom of speech and expression for them, Kharge also accused the media of showing only Modi and all his activities, all the time.
Asking for votes trying to project his Kannadiga identity, he said, "I was in Gujarat to campaign for the polls there, Modi addressing rallies wherever he goes, used to say- I'm son of a poor, son of the soil, son of Gujarat, please hold and raise me. When he was held and raised by people in Gujarat, you should do the same for me here in Karnataka." Pointing out that Modi projected his Gujarati identity and used to ask for votes, he said, "all of us here are from Karnataka. Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar, Muniyappa (former Union Minister), Parameshwara (former Deputy CM) and me are from Karnataka. So we will urge you that we are also sons of this soil, get us elected and make us form the government."
Pointing out that Karnataka which was a progressive state has seen ruins under the BJP rule, Kharge said, "they created fights between people in the name of religion, caste. BJP is responsible for it...there is looto aur baanto (loot and share) system under the BJP, no work is happening, money is demanded every where." Officials say money is important at all levels, he said "we have such a government here, do we want such a government here? If such a government has to go, you will have to work together to ensure Congress wins."
Taking a dig at BJP national President J P Nadda, who recently visited Karnataka, he said, he lost in his home state of Himachal Pradesh, and is roaming here seeking votes.