New Delhi, Apr 19: The Congress will win nearly 135-140 seats in the forthcoming assembly elections and comfortably form the next government on its own, said senior party leader and former Karnataka chief minister Veerappa Moily.
He claimed that the Congress was the only party that could give a stable and credible government in the State. "We have proved this in the past, while other parties like the BJP and the Janata Dal have failed to complete their full five year terms", he said in an exclusive interview with the sources. Having 224 constituencies, Karnataka will witness a three-phase poll, slated for May 10, 16 and 22. To form a government any party or coalition of parties would have to win at least 112 seats.
"135 to 140 is the minimum which will be our target, which is achievable as far as the Congress is concerned," said Moily.
The State has been facing political turmoil and instability, since the last coalition government had been ousted from the assembly after being reduced to a minority and since then, Karnataka has been under Central rule.
Addressing the issue of a stable government in the State, Moily said, Congress is the only party which can provide a credible and stable government in Karnataka. "We want to give a stable government, and the Congress alone can carry that kind of a conviction of a stable government, a credible government. Because, we have proved it. All these 50-60 years, Congress has proved it by its record in the State and also at the Centre," Moily said.
The Congress strategy for the polls will depend on the policies of the UPA Government, particularly the recently announced loan waiver scheme and the flagship programmes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Bharat Nirman programme, in general.
About his party's poll promises, he said that the Congress would provide rice at Rs two per kg for those living below the poverty line, besides a colour TV.
Congress will intensify its election campaign simultaneously with the first list of candidates which is expected to be announced any time now.
Nominations for the first phase of the polls to be held on May 10, have already begun in the State and 42 candidates have already submitted their nominations so far. 89 Assembly constituencies spread over 11 districts of Tumkur, Chikkaballapur, Kolar, Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagar, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu, Mysore and Chamarajnagar will go to polls on May 10. Nomination papers can be submitted till April 23 and will be scrutinized on April 26. The notification for the second phase of polls, fixed for May 16, and for the third phase scheduled to be held on May 22, will be issued on April 16 and April 26 respectively. 66 Assembly constituencies in 10 districts and 69 segments covering eight districts will face the ballot in the second and third phases respectively.
The votes of all 224 constituencies would be counted on May 25.
Karnataka polls are seen as a crucial barometer of the popular vote prior to the general elections to be held in 2009 in the country, even as inflation and price hike have already cast a shadow. A victory in these polls is bound to set the trend for the general elections.