Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee working president Dinesh Gundu Rao happened to be the first guest on IBTimes India's The Talk — a periodical programme that believes in letting its guests say what they have to say, and get the point across.
Speaking to Danish Manzoor on Friday, June 17, a candid Gundu Rao spoke on the failures and successes of both the BJP and the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself and the political future of both the state and the country. Here are some snippets of what he said:
On PM Modi and the 2014 electoral results
Gundu Rao, whose father was once the chief minister of Karnataka, acknowledged the existence of a Modi wave in 2014. However, he chalked up Modi's success in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to something quite different.
"We [the Congress] made a few errors in the projection of our leaders," he said, adding: "We were also unable to communicate our development to the people. People didn't even know what we had done."
Pointed out that there were several scams in the two UPA regimes before Modi came to power, Gundu Rao said: "There were mistakes made by people, not by the government as such, and not at the level of the prime minister or the chief minister." He added: "The protests, like those of Anna Hazare, made it seem like the Congress was not fighting [the people's fight]."
On the BJP and its political choices
The BJP at the Centre has failed utterly, said Gundu Rao. He explained himself thus: "Today there is so much of divisiveness! Internal security is a problem. Kashmir is worse off, youths are worse off, farmers in this country are worse off. And who's got the benefit?" He was hinting at what he called the "big corporate houses."
He also said that people's nationality and patriotism are being questioned if they disagree with the saffron party and its politics. He added that the BJP was also acting as a highly polarising and divisive agent, and used Yogi Adityanath being chosen the Uttar Pradesh chief minister as an example. "I don't know how he is the chief minister of UP, given his background, so many controversial issues and statements he has made," said Gundu Rao.
On Bengaluru, its rise and its problems
Pointed out the current problems a city like Bengaluru faces, the Karnataka Congress leader said: "You can't blame the current Congress government for plight of Bengaluru. The city has seen exponential growth in last 30 years, and is one of the fastest growing in Asia." He added that the city "was neglected" and "became a garbage city" under the BJP rule, in both the state and the municipal corporation.
However, with the BBMP back in control of the Congress, "Bengaluru is back on track" and "attracting investment, he said. Gundu Rao also gave assurances that all issue plaguing the city — from traffic to potholes and other things — would be solved by December 2017.
On the Cauvery issue
Sharing of water from the Cauvery river has been a thorny issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and the case currently rests with the Supreme Court. The apex court had told Karnataka to continue releasing water to Tamil Nadu until its further orders, something which resulted in quite a crisis for Karnataka.
Speaking on the topic, Gundu Rao said: "No law, no Supreme Court order can make any government implement something that is unimplementable." He added that sharing of water should be determined "based on ground realities."
Watch the full video of the interview here: