Hubli: Slamming the BJP government in Karnataka, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday charged that "bad governance" and "corruption" had slackened state's progress and a sense of insecurity was prevalent among the minorities.

Hitting the campaign trail for the May 5 Assembly polls, Singh said BJP had changed three Chief Ministers in the last five years and a probe had been ordered against several of its politicians on charge of corruption. "...bad governance, carelessness in development works and above all corruption has led to the slackening of progress in Karnataka", the Prime Minister said in Hubli, the northern part of the state, where the ruling BJP draws much of its strength.

Singh said, “Attention was neither being paid to agriculture nor employment. A number of irrigation works are incomplete and even the works taken up under accelerated irrigation development programme was unsatisfactory. Also, no attention has been paid to infrastructure, resulting in a number of industries going to Hyderabad and Pune.”

"... I am particularly unhappy about the lack of development, especially in minority pockets like Raichur, Bellary, Gulbarga and Bidar... Lack of communal harmony and sense of insecurity among the minorities is prevalent," Singh said. Accusing the ruling BJP of not utilising the funds sanctioned under many of the central schemes, Singh said the state had not met its targets in several programmes including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and mid-day meals or rural road development.

"...If the Congress comes to power in Karnataka, the state will be able to utilise the funds sanctioned under central schemes to the maximum..", he said, assuring the people that his party would make Karnataka "a forerunner in development by providing a corruption-free government."

Singh said, “Across the world when people talk about Information Technology, people talk of Bangalore. In the past two decades, Karnataka has made a place for itself in the international arena mainly because of the contribution made by its scientists and engineers. The UPA government had initiated economic reforms and Karnataka was able to take advantage of them to the maximum which in turn helped its development, specially in IT.”

Talking about UPA government, he said its focus has been on inclusive growth. "...we have taken all sections of people together. The government had paid particular attention to backward classes, minorities and women in its policies,” he added.


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