Pro-Modi slogans greet Mallikarjun Kharge at Hyderabad Karnataka college

Kalaburagi: Senior Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge was heckled by some youth in the audience raising pro-Modi slogans at the Hyderabad Karnataka Education Society (HKES)'s  PDA Engineering College, where he had gone to address its teachers and students on Tuesday as part of his campaign for the Lok Sabha poll.

Even as the welcome speech concluded, a group of students in the auditorium began to raise  “Modi, Modi” slogans, both to the  embarassment of Mr Kharge and the management of the HKES.

Peace returned only after  ex-Congress legislator, Allam Prabhu Patil, reprimanded the students, asking them to leave the auditorium if they did not want to support Mr Kharge. “In a democracy we have the right to seek votes based on our performance and you have every right to make a decision of your own. But don’t disrupt the function,” he told them sternly.

 A visibly upset Mr Kharge in his speech asserted that he wouldn’t be cowed down by such behaviour. “Because I have myself spoken against ( Prime Minister Narendra) Modi in his presence in Parliament. I’ve effectively discharged my right to question Modi, which the people of Kalaburagi have bestowed on me. So your raising Modi slogans will not unnerve me,” he said  in a raised voice. Dwelling at length on the various projects that he had brought to the state as Union minister for labour and later as railway minister, Mr Kharge regretted that although he had accomplished a great deal, some people did not appreciate his contribution. “I don’t know why they have this attitude to me? It is said there is medicine for many diseases, but not for jealousy. I have every right to seek your support because I have done a lot for the region. On the other hand what has Modi done for this area?” he demanded.

 "Yes I know that some people don’t like my face as they think that I’m an egotist. It is also alleged that I don’t stand with a certain religion. But you should be grateful to those who help you.  You are showing disrespect to someone who has strived for development.  I will not pressure you to  vote for me. My  only appeal is don’t fall prey to the falsehood and don’t act with vengeance,” he added.

Pointing out that Kalaburagi had become an educational hub and  was drawing students from all over the country, he said, " This is our biggest achievement. Today when the MP of Kalaburagi stands up to speak in the Lok Sabha, the entire House is silent to listen.  I have made you proud.”

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