SANTHEMARAHALLI ( KARNATAKA): Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off his campaign for the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 with a stinging attack on Rahul Gandhi at a poll rally at Santhemarahalli in southern Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district. He dared the Congress chief to speak for 15 minutes without reading from a piece of paper.
“He dared me. He claimed that if he speaks for 15 minutes I wouldn’t be able to stand in front of him. You can speak English, you can speak Hindi, you may even be able to speak in your ‘mother’s tongue’. Speak in any language you want. I dare you to speak for 15 minutes without reading from a piece of paper. Speak for 15 minutes on your government’s achievements over the last five year. If you can do that, the people of Karnatak (sic) will accept you,” said Modi.
He also poked fun of the difficulty Rahul Gandhi faced during a speech in pronouncing the names of some icons of Karnataka, like Basaveshwara and Visvesvaraya. A clip of Rahul struggling to pronouncing the names, quite common among Kannadigas, and then settling for a mangled mispronunciation had gone viral. “I invite you to pronounce the names of Basaveshwara and Visvesvaraya correctly once in front of an audience,” he taunted.