‘Will attempt to win all the 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka’
All-India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Ajay Maken on Saturday said the Congress in Karnataka would work as a cohesive team and attempt to win all the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the State.
Mr. Maken, who is in Bangalore along with AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary in charge of Karnataka Digvijay Singh, said, “It will be our serious attempt to win all the Lok Sabha seats here. It is early days still and we will announce our candidates very shortly.” It was in the 1971, 1980 and 1989 general elections that the Congress won 27 of the 28 seats and in the 2009 elections, the party won six seats.
The Central Election Committee of the Congress, headed by AICC president Sonia Gandhi, is expected to meet on Monday and the party candidates for Karnataka are likely to be announced. “The announcement may be on that date or later.”
The primary election procedure for two constituencies — Bangalore North and Dakshina Kannada — wherein the party candidates will be selected by an electoral college comprising partymen, is yet to be completed. It is a new exercise in the selection of candidates, and Mr. Maken is one of those facing such a selection procedure.
On the BJP fielding the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in Shimoga, Mr. Maken said the people of Karnataka would teach the party a lesson.
“The BJP adopts different yardsticks with reference to corruption — one for the States ruled by the Congress and another for the States ruled by it”.
‘On the expected lines’
On the fall of the Aam Aadmi Party government in New Delhi, Mr. Maken said it was on the expected lines.
He said, “It was quite evident that the AAP was looking out for a way to bring down the government and believed that the Jan Lokpal Bill was an option that came its way. The fact is that the Congress had categorically conveyed that it was also in favour of the Jan Lokpal Bill and that it would join the AAP in about four days and place a plea before the Lieutenant Governor. Rather than wait, they went ahead.”
The Congress general secretary said the option of dissolution of the Delhi Legislative Assembly could be exercised only after the Bharatiya Janata Party (with 32 MLAs) does not exhibit interest in forming a government. It is, however, for the Lt. Governor to decide on keeping the Assembly under suspended animation and opting for president’s rule.