Bengaluru: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday warned that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is trying to “decimate" Karnataka’s way of life.

“The RSS is trying to take over your state, attacking Basavanna, your language, your culture and your wonderful food," Gandhi said in Bengaluru. “This is a fight between the spirit of Karnataka and the RSS."

“It (RSS ideology) is trying to decimate your way of life. And we will not allow it to do so," Gandhi said on the last day of campaigning for the 12 May assembly polls.

He raised a number of issues targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign in the state. Gandhi said the fact that several BJP chief ministers and other senior ministers were campaigning in Bengaluru on Thursday showed how jittery the party was about the outcome. He said the fact that at least 10 senior BJP leaders had descended on Bengaluru on Thursday showed the party was in “panic".

“I am happy that as many of their ministers that would like to come have come. Frankly it helps us," Gandhi said.

Commenting about Modi’s campaign, he said the PM had resorted to personal attacks against Congress leaders as he had no relevant issues to put forward. “I am not going to get distracted by the PM. I have now learnt to deal with him, when he realizes that he is coming into this space where there is no escape, then he distracts and creates anger. We are not going to let him distract and we are not going to let him create anger. We are going to defeat the BJP here," he said.

Gandhi said that after Karnataka, the BJP would lose in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.