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Karnataka elections: There is Kannada pride, but not parochialism

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    There is a strong sense of Kannada pride that very much exists in Karnataka, but there is also a nationalistic fervor in the state. There is pride but not parochialism.

    Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao

    This is what the BJP' Rajya Sabha MP had to say. In this interview with OneIndia, Rao discusses the Karnataka elections and also says that the Yeddy-Modi combination will help BJP sweep the state.

    The Congress has made it about Kannada pride. What are your reactions.

    There is a strong sense of Kannada pride that very much exists in Karnataka, but there is also a nationalistic fervor in the state. There is pride but not parochialism.

    How do you feel the people are seeing it?

    I think the people see it as some kind of political attempt. The people feel strongly about issues, but these are not to be associated with any political party.

    But the Congress claims to represent Kannada pride

    The Congress is a pretender which hardly represents anything Kannada. It is more like a political gimmick played by the Congress. The Congress is not associated with any such pride.

    Is it Kannada pride vs nationalism?

    As I said earlier there is a strong sense of Kannada pride. You may recall that along with the BJP's rise in the Hindi heartland in the 1990s, Karnataka joined the BJP's rise to power. Karnataka always looked at the BJP as a nationalistic party. The people of Karnataka actually responded to the BJP's national campaign unlike the other southern states.

    What are your prospects in Karnataka?

    In 2008, we were able to win 110 seats on our own with the Yeddy (Yeddyurappa) factor. This time we have the Yeddy-Modi factor. That has boosted the chances of the BJP multi-fold. You will see this for yourself as the campaign picks up momentum. We will cross the half way mark with ease.

    Several surveys have pointed towards a hung-house. Do you agree?

    I would not say it would be a hung house. The recent elections in three years have been clear mandates with people voting for major parties. Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are examples I would like to cite here. A hung house is a a rare exception, while a big mandate is the general norm.

    Siddaramaiah we hear is looking for a safe seat. Your views sir?

    The sitting Chief Minister is jittery and this says a lot. When the leader of the general is jittery consider the battle is lost. When Siddaramaiah himself panics and feels unsafe about his seat, then you know the game is up for the Congress.

    Karnataka Assembly Election dates
    Date of notification April 17
    Last date to file nominations April 24
    Last date to withdraw nominations April 27
    Date of polling May 12
    Date of counting May 15

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