Tearing into the Siddaramaiah government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday dubbed it a 'seeda Rupaiya sarkar' (money first government), a reference to corruption, and said it should not be allowed to continue 'even for a minute'.
Modi, who has been accusing the state government of corruption, intensified his attack on his third visit in less than a month to the poll-bound Karnataka, saying there was public anger against the regime.
"It is now certain that this Karnataka government will go," he told a Bharatiya Janata Party farmers' rally in Davangere.
"You have such a chief Minister here. Some people feel that in Karnataka there is Siddaramaiah government. But the fact is here there is seeda rupaiya sarkar. In every thing there is seeda rupaiya, only then work happens," he said.
The rally in the Lingayat belt here was organised to coincide with the 75th birthday of state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa, who is being projected as the party's chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming assembly polls.
With the prime minister himself in attendance, the rally was also seen as an attempt by the BJP to set at rest any doubts about the choice of Yeddyurappa, a Lingayat strongman, for the chief ministership in the event of BJP winning the polls.
The Lingayat community forms a strong voter base for the BJP.
The Saffron party is seeking to unseat the Congress with its 150-plus seats target in the 224-member assembly, polls to which are expected to be held in coming April or May.
In his earlier rallies, Modi had called the Siddaramaiah dispensation 'a 10 per cent commission government' and later said his information was not correct and came to know that it was much more.
Hitting back at the prime minister, Siddaramaiah had last week charged him with being 'the great facilitator of corruption' while referring to the two billion dollar Punjab National Bank scam allegedly involving diamond businessman Nirav Modi.
In Davangere on Tuesday, Modi said everything was being done for a price in Karnataka.
Dubbing the Siddaramaiah government as 'a seeda rupaiya sarkar', he asked the crowd whether they wanted such a government.
"You tell me do you want this seeda rupaiya culture? Do you want seeda Rupaiya kaarnaama? Will a common man get justice only from this seeda rupaiya?"
"This seeda rupaiya government has to go," Modi said, adding, there should be an honest government in Karnataka.
"That is the reason now, that in Karnataka instead of seeda rupaiya business there should be a government that listens to its people and does their work."
Blaming the Congress culture for the ills facing the country, Modi said the situation had now come to such pass that because of the 'weight of their own sins, let alone Karnataka, they will not be able to save the Congress'.
In Karnataka, Modi claimed, the people were eager to see the exit of the Siddaramaiah government.
"I have travelled to a couple of places in the state. I have seen the mood of the people. I have seen the anger against this government. Every one is worried about this government. There is such anger against this government... such governments are very less."
Apparently referring to the income tax raids on a state minister and a close aide of the chief minister last year, he said: "In this country there was never a raid on residence of any sitting minister.
"Here in their houses you get diaries, money. You get bundles of notes from houses of leaders. Where did this money come from?... Whose money is this? If this is not seeda rupaiya what it is?" Modi said.
"The kind of destruction that has happened in Karnataka, such a government should not be allowed to continue even for a minute," Modi said.
Modi also hit out at the state government for not utilising the funds from the Centre for various schemes.
He said Gujarat known as a drought-hit area achieved 10 per cent agriculture growth due to BJP government's water conservation measures there.
"But there is such a government in Karnataka that it has not been able to utilise about Rs 100 crore money given by the Centre for watershed scheme," Modi said.
Funds given for smart cities and 'Swachch Bharat' schemes among others, had also not been utilised, he charged.
"There is such a government here that it does not work for people. It does only two things -- one keeping its aakas (lords) in Delhi happy and second giving share (money) to please those who are unhappy," he said.
Stating that Centre was supporting the state government in every way possible for development, Modi said unless 'the 10 per cent matter is sorted out, work doesn't happen here'.
"First 10 per cent, 12 per cent, 15 per cent is discussed, every one in Karnataka knows about this business….," the prime minister alleged.
IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hands over a model of plough to Karnataka BJP president and chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa during the party's Farmers' Convention at Davanagere on Tuesday. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo