Chikmagalur: Charging the BJP government in Karnataka with betraying the people's mandate, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday made a strong pitch for "change" in the State as it was passing through "some of the darkest days."

"I remind the young generation that these are some of the darkest days ...People want change. The need for change is now, and now", she said in her first campaign rally in Karnataka, which goes to assembly polls on May five.

"The BJP has completely ignored your mandate, they have completely betrayed the mandate of the people of Karnataka", she charged, as she attacked the Government on various fronts, including the "breakdown" of the law and order. On illegal mining scam in Karnataka, she said the mining mafia has destroyed environment, and charged the BJP government with serving only its "narrow and selfish political ends".

She said there was a time when industries competed with one another to invest in Karnataka but the situation now is "opposite". Now the industries are leaving Karnataka because of corruption, government interference and infrastructure issues, she said.

Noting that Karnataka has had a glorious past and brighter future awaiting, she said this is possible only if there is political stability. "Therefore this political stability is essential. A stable government is need of the hour for Karnataka". Gandhi said the immediate task for the Congress in the State is to restore the image of Karnataka as a "bright state" of the country. "Congress will ensure this Karnataka thrives and prospers".


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