Joshi pitches Assembly polls as the semi-finals before Lok Sabha elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday launched its Assembly election campaign in Mangalore with a convention at Nehru Maidan, where the party’s State president Prahlad Joshi termed the polls as the semi-finals in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. Addressing party workers at its ‘Vijaya Sankalpa Samavehsa’, Mr. Joshi and other leaders of the party criticised the Congress.

Admitting that there was infighting in the State BJP unit, he said those who “quarrelled” had left the party now. He said though the party took up developmental projects, the infighting resulted in poor performance of the party in the recent elections to the urban local bodies. Mr. Joshi claimed that people were aware of the developmental projects of the State government.

Mr. Joshi said if the BJP was elected, it would focus on “development without infighting”. He said the Congress, in its entire history, had never sought votes on the basis of developmental projects.

He said prices of essential commodities in the country had increased under the administration of the Union government led by the Congress.

The former Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda said that the Congress would be the main competitor of the BJP in the Assembly elections. Other parties were negligible. He said elections should be fought on the basis of development and not anything else.

Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok said that there was no democracy in the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). If the Congress was controlled by a family, the JD(S) was a party of “father and son”. Minister for Muzrai and Ports Kota Srinivas Poojary alleged that the Congress had failed to project its chief ministerial candidate in the State.

Nagaraj Shetty’s back

The former minister B. Nagraj Shetty, who had joined the JD(S) after quitting the BJP in July last year, re-joined the BJP at the party’s ‘Vijaya Sankalpa Samavehsa’. President of the State unit of the BJP Prahlad Joshi welcomed Mr. Shetty to the party fold by giving him a shawl.

Mr. Shetty, in his speech, did not make it clear why he quit the JD(S) to rejoin the BJP.

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