NEW DELHI: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak about the BJP government led by BS Yeddyurappa in Karnataka by looking at a piece of paper. "Dear PM @narendramodi ji, I challenge you to speak about the achievements of BS Yeddyurappa’s Govt in Karnataka for 15 minutes by looking at a paper," Siddaramaiah tweeted.
Dear PM @narendramodi ji,
I challenge you to speak about the achievements of B S Yeddyurappa’s Govt in Karnataka for 15 minutes by looking at a paper.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) May 2, 2018
The Karnataka CM's challenge comes a day after the PM in a rally in poll-bound Karnataka had dared Congress president Rahul Gandhi to speak in any language about the achievements of his party's government in the state without referring to a piece of paper.
"I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of (his) party government...People of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion," Modi had said at an election rally Santemaranahalli in Chamaraja district.
The Prime Minister was responding to Rahul's dare to him to allow him to speak for 15 minutes in Parliament on various issues, including corruption. The Congress chief claimed that Modi would not be able to sit for 15 minutes.
"His speaking for 15 minutes will itself be a big thing. And when I hear that I would not be able to sit, I think...Wow, what a scene it is? Congress president, sir, we cannot sit before you. You are 'naamdar' (famous), while I am 'kaamdar' (ordinary worker). We have no status to sit in front of you," Modi had said.
Not just Siddaramaiah, other Congress leaders had also lashed out at PM Modi for his challenge to the party chief. Congress said PM Modi's remarks proved that he had no answers to the issues raised by the opposition and demanded that he speak with integrity for even 15 seconds without lying or misrepresenting facts. "Today, it has been proved beyond doubt that the prime minister has no answer on Nirav Modi, or on Jay Shah. He has no answers on Rafale or on Piyush Goyal's corruption which is there beyond doubt in the public domain," spokesperson Sushmita Dev said.
"Do you have the integrity to speak, let alone 15 minutes, can you speak for even 15 seconds without lies and misrepresentation?," Dev added.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah had also advised Rahul Gandhi to take on PM Modi's challenge. Taking to Twitter, Omar said: "I hope @RahulGandhi takes up the Hon PM’s challenge & speaks w/out using notes for 15 min about the Karnataka Govt & then perhaps we can ask the Hon PM to speak for 2 min about why the rape & murder of an 8 year old girl is “a minor issue”. (sic)."