Narendra Modi morally unfit to be Prime Minister, says Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “morally unfit” to be Prime Minister, hitting back at Modi who had on Sunday attacked the state’s Congress government over issues like corruption.

“According to me, he (Modi) is morally unfit to be Prime Minister,” Siddaramaiah said on Monday, while addressing a press conference after the Karnataka governor addressed a joint session of the state legislature.

Siddaramaiah launched a no-holds-barred attack on Modi, listing the shortcomings of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre, including its failure to set up a Lokpal. The Karnataka leader also mentioned the 2002 Godhra riots that took place when Modi was Gujarat chief minister.

The Karnataka chief minister was reacting to allegations levelled by Modi at an election rally in Bengaluru on Sunday over corruption—including a claim that the Karnataka government seeks a 10% commission for approving projects—failing law and order, misappropriation of central funds and inflaming communal tensions.

Siddaramaiah said the state, its farmers, and other people were hoping Modi would speak on issues like waiving farm loans from nationalised banks and resolving the Mahadayi (also known as Mandovi) river water sharing issues. But instead he chose to “spread lies”.

He said Modi had not set up a Lokayukta for nine years while he was chief minister of Gujarat nor a Lokpal, despite being in power at the centre for over three years. “That clearly shows that Narendra Modi, as Prime Minister of this country, is supporting corruption. He is facilitating corruption,” Siddaramaiah said.

He also made references to the BJP government in Karnataka (2008-13) which saw the unearthing of an illegal iron ore mining scam as well as allegations of corruption against then chief minister B.S.Yeddyurappa and several other ministers.

Referring to the recent by-poll results in Rajasthan, Siddaramaiah said this indicated that the people of the country were increasingly in favour of voting out the BJP, which he said was known for targeting minority communities and backward classes.

The Congress and the BJP have accused each other of fanning communal tensions for political gains. “In Karnataka, there is ease of doing murder,” Modi had said on Sunday, in an apparent reference to some recent killings of workers affiliated with Hindu right wing organisations.

“If law and order is so bad, would we become the number one destination for investments in the country?” Siddaramaiah asked. He also asked why the Prime Minister had not named BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana among others that had higher crime rates than Karnataka.

He accused BJP national president Amit Shah of attempts to engineer communal clashes but added they would not help the party in the upcoming elections.

He said Modi did not have the moral right to level allegations against the Congress as Shah and Yeddyurappa had both gone to jail on charges like murder and corruption.livemint