PM attacks Rahul over '15 minute' dare

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched his campaign blitzkrieg in Karnataka, unleashing a blistering attack on Rahul Gandhi and daring him "to speak in any language" for 15 minutes about the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government without reading out from piece of paper.

He accused the state's Congress government, which he claimed was steeped in corruption, of thwarting the Centre's efforts for development.

Hitting out at the Congress president, Modi also said those currently leading the party had "no understanding" of history and the country's legacy.

"I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of the party government...people of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion," he told an election rally.

Modi was responding to Rahul Gandhi's dare to him to allow him to speak for 15 minutes in Parliament on various issues, including corruption, and that the prime minister will not be able to sit for 15 minutes.

"His speaking for 15 minutes will itself is a big thing. And when I hear that I would not be able to sit, I think...wow, what a scene it is? Congress president, Sir, we cannot sit before you. You are 'naamdar' (famous), while I am 'kaamdar' (ordinary worker). We have no status to sit in front of you," he said.

(Agencies)