The former External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who launched the election campaign for Congress candidates from the city on Wednesday, exuded confidence that his party would prove all pre-poll predictions wrong.
Addressing presspersons before his roadshow in Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency, Mr. Krishna said agencies conducting opinion polls would realise that their figures were wrong after the election results were announced.
He said, “This is not new. We are used to adverse predictions. But we are confident and believe that we will win. The Congress has always been backed by a section of silent voters who do not express any opinion and just vote. Congress is the first choice for this section.”
Dismissing any wave in favour of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the country, the former Karnataka Chief Minister claimed it was artificial propaganda by “vested interests”.
Replying to queries, Mr. Krishna said the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate had been sidelining senior leaders, including L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh, who built their party. On the various scams reported during the United Progressive Alliance government rule, he said: “The Congress has an in-built machinery to bring about corrective action. Wherever necessary, we handed over the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation and referred to other agencies. We never swept anything under the carpet. This shows our party believes in transparency.”
Mr. Krishna defended the party’s choice of candidates such as the former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who are facing charges of corruption.
“As long as they have not been convicted, I think they are entitled to be treated like anybody else — like you and me. Whereas in the BJP, it is a fact that people who have ended up in jail have also been fielded.”
On whether the former Union Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief’s resignation from the Congress would have any impact on minority votes, Mr. Krishna said: “The Congress has the capacity to bounce back even after losing many stalwarts.”