BJP geared up to boost its chances in Karnataka

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) Confident that the Election Commission would hold assembly polls in Karnataka before May 28, the BJP is targetting to increase its vote share by four per cent to attain comfortable majority in the 224-member Assembly.

A key party leader from Karnataka said his party was anticipating the elections to be held in two phases. The BJP and Janata Dal(Secular), headed by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, had urged the Election Commissioners to hold the elections before May 28, without extending the President's Rule in the state beyond six months. Any extension beyond six months would require parliamentary approval.

The Congress was the only party which wanted postponement of the elections beyond May 28, on the grounds of preparing fresh voters' list in view of the implementation of the Delimitation Commission recommendations carving new geographical boundaries of Assembly constituencies. The EC had held its meeting in this regard in the first week of March. The list can be prepared in three months juxtaposing the block level voters' lists with the existing one.

About the possibilities of the BJP going ahead on its own in the polls, the leader said it was the state unit's decision to go alone. However, a decision may be taken when party's election in charge and BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley would be in Bangalore on March 29. The Janata Dal (United), the BJP's NDA partner, had contested 25-odd seats in the 2004 elections, winning five seats.

Giving reasons for the BJP faring well in the state, the leader said his party had given ''good'' governance during the last 20 months of the BJP-JD(S) coalition rule and the party's ministers were regarded as 'performing ministers'.

BJP's Chief Ministerial nominee B S Yeddiyurappa was 'betrayed' by the JD (S) when it came to BJP's turn to head the government.

Projecting him again would be in the interest of the party to achieve a four per cent jump from its present vote share, he said.

Many of the JD (S) leaders had joined the BJP deserting their ranks in South Karnataka.

The two budgets presented by Mr Yeddiyurappa had attracted the attention of the farmers who were paying only four per cent interest under the Interest Subvention Scheme. All loans up to Rs 25,000 were waived and the Budget had provided Rs 2000 crore for the purpose.

About the Congress, he said the party was a ''divided house'' and the entry of former Maharashtra Governor into state politics had not gone down well with the Dalit and Backward Class voters. He said the possibility of the JD (S) forging an alliance with Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi Party was ''great'', improving the party's prospects in Shimoga and coastal districts of Mangalore, Udupi and Karwar which houses substantial backward class population outside south Karnataka districts, the traditional stranglehold of the JD(S).


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