BJP predicts early LS polls

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Hyderabad, June 9 (UNI) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M Venkaiah Naidu today said the party foresaw early elections to the Lok Sabha in the wake of its ''historic'' win in Karnataka.

Addressing a press conference here, he claimed that there was a serious thinking within the Congress to advance the general elections out of fear of the hustings in the event of the Congress performing poorly in the coming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Chhattisgarh.

Stating that the BJP was gearing up for the parliamentary elections, he said identification of candidates had begun and the party would come out with its list of candidates by August.

Mr Naidu said that with the party's victory in Karnataka, the gateway to the south had been opened for the BJP, which was getting strengthened further with wins in elections in eight of the 16 States that went to the polls, while the Congress had lost 12 States after 2004.

The party would fight the Lok Sabha elections, highlighting the ''unprecedented price rise, deep agrarian crisis, growing terrorism across the country and vote bank politics'' allegedly being pursued by the Congress, he said.

Accusing the Congress of ''betraying the Aam Aadmi' and trying to put the blame on the previous BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government, the BJP leader claimed that Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had himself in the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament for 2003-04, noted that ''the scenario for the period was in a 'resilient mode' in terms of growth, inflation and balance of payment, a combination that offered large scope for consolidation of growth momentum with continued macro-economic stability.'' UNI SM VA RL PM1620

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