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BJP, Congress blame each other for communalising Karnataka elections | India News

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NEW DELHI: As Karnataka gears up for the May 12 assembly election, the Congress and the BJP today, by turns, proclaimed that their party will emerge victorious in the high-stakes poll battle for the southern state.

BJP president Amit Shah said his party will wrest power from the Congress with an absolute majority as the people of Karnataka were inclined towards it.

Speaking at a Times Now-Vijay Karnataka conclave titled ‘Karnataka now: Seize the moment’, Shah said all talk of a hung assembly will be proved unfounded once the poll results are declared on May 15.

“We will get a clear majority in Karnataka. There will be no hung assembly. Karnataka is going to be our gateway to the south,” Shah said.

Earlier in the day, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah had said the Congress will easily sweep the assembly polls and won’t need to ally with the JD(S) or anyone other party. He also panned PM Modi for making promises but failing to deliver on them, besides doing nothing for the Congress-ruled state. “What has he (Modi) done for Karnataka?” the CM demanded during a discussion at the conclave.

Countering Siddaramaiah’s assertion, Shah said that the Modi government had provided LPG connection to 3.5 crore poor households, constructed 7.5 crore toilets, electrified over 19,000 villages and issued more than 9 crore MUDRA loans. “This is why Modi ji is called ‘kaamdaar’,” he added.

Shah went on to say that the BJP is fighting on development agenda in Karnataka but the Congress party is trying to communalise the election. This was in response to Siddaramaiah’s charge that members of the saffron party “claim to be Hindus but they are communal in nature.”

“There is no contradiction between ‘vikas’ and saffron flag. We made corruption an issue, law and order an issue, traffic in Bengaluru an issue, farmer suicide an issue. How did the Congress covernment run the state?” he said.

In a dig at chief minister Siddaramaiah’s so-called “2+1” formula, Shah said the Congress leader will lose by a “big margin” in both constituencies from where he is fighting the assembly polls. Siddaramaiah is contesting from the Badami and Chamundeshwari seats while his son Yathindra will contest from Varuna constituency.

Shah also issued a pointed takedown of the Congress party’s “dynastic politics”, while also denying Siddaramaiah’s charge that the BJP was made up of “naamdaar” leaders.

“Before Sonia Gandhi stepped down as Congress president, there was no doubt who would succeed her to the post. Now if I were to step down, can you say for certain who will be my successor? No. That is the difference between Congress and BJP,” he elaborated.

Responding to the Karnataka CM’s “2 Reddys + 1 Yeddy” jibe, Shah said: “The corruption allegations against Reddy brothers are baseless. There are no cases pending against them, they’re our legislators and the party gave them tickets on merit alone.”

Updated: May 4, 2018 — 4:28 pm

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