BJP to excercise 'legal option' if elections are delayed

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (UNI) Accusing the Congress of 'conspiring' to delay holding of assembly elections in Karnataka giving out 'lame excuses', the BJP today threatened to exercise 'legal option' to pressurise the Centre to hold elections within six months as stipulated in the Constitution.

Former Chief Minister and BJP leader B S Yeddiyurappa who met BJP President Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition L K Advani and senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj to apprise them of the latest political situation in the state told newspersons here that the Congress was unnerved by the tremendous response the BJP was getting in its people's contact programme in more than 70 assembly constituencies. ''We have full faith in the fairness of the Election Commission but the Congress was bringing pressure to delay the elections'', he alleged.

He said for the Congressmen President's Rule was synonymous with Congress rule and hence they wanted to delay elections. The BJP, he said was ready for the EC to conduct elections if it meant even under the new assembly bounderies proposed by the Delimitation Commission. "The voters list were all in digital format and could be reorganised in a week's time and hold elections by end of April 2008", he said.

He said the BJP leaders had not taken a final decision on exercising the legal option but the state leaders would want them to explore this in the event of delay. The Assembly was dissolved and brought under President's rule after Mr Yeddiyurappa could not show his majority in the Assembly on November 19.

Mr Yeddiyurappa, who handled the Finance portfolio in the JD (S)-BJP coalition dismissed the allegations of his predecessor and Congress leader Siddaramaiah who had stated that the previous government had failed miserably in addressing the problems of the poor. ''I don't require his certificate and the budgets presented by him was applauded by the Planning Commission and Finance Ministry for mobilisation of resources and effective managing of state's finances. ''People of the state had the performances of the Congress-JD (S) coalition for the first 20 months of BJP-JD (S) government for the next 20 months. ''We want them to vote for performance and development and he did not require sympathy votes'', he said.

He said it was the responsibility of the administration under President's rule to implement the budget proposals passed by the State Legislature, but that was not being done under pressure from the Congress because they feared that it would bring benefits to the BJP, he alleged.

Turning to the allegations of a JD (S) Minister that he as Finance Minister had rejected free power to the Irrigation Pumpsets, he said such allegations by JD (S) Chief H D Deve Gowda and his sons will carry no weight. In fact when he approached Mr Gowda with the proposal to provide farm loans at four per cent before the budget presentation, he had opposed it. "We went ahead and provided loans at four per cent," he claimed.

The BJP, he said would come to power on its own and would provide free power to 16 lakh Irrigtion Pumpsets to boost agriculture production in arid zones, he said.

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