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Updated: April 28, 2013 02:30 IST
KARNATAKA ELECTIONS 2013

It's the joke of the century: Venkaiah

Special Correspondent
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M. Venkaiah Naidu
The Hindu
M. Venkaiah Naidu

Congress and clean government cannot go together, says BJP leader

Launching a counter-attack on AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the BJP on Saturday termed his promise of the Congress providing a clean government if elected to power as the “joke of the century”.

Addressing a press conference here, the former BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “Congress and clean government cannot go together. The UPA government at the Centre — which is steeped in a series of scams — has proved this.”

It may be noted that Mr. Gandhi had warned the Congress candidates that the party would not keep quiet if they indulged in corruption after getting elected. Referring to this, Mr. Naidu said: “People are laughing at the Congress and Rahul Gandhi for making such statements as the Congress has failed to stop its leaders from indulging in scams at the Centre.”

Hitting out at Mr. Gandhi for accusing the BJP of setting a world record in corruption, he said: “Let him first focus on the scams and failures of the UPA government before commenting on us. The Congress has failed to take any action against its own leaders who have indulged in scams. It did not act against the Prime Minister, Coal Minister or Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit when their names were dragged into scams. But we have taken action against our leaders when they have been indicted by constitutionally appointed bodies.”

Even in Karnataka there were charges against Congress leaders S.M. Krishna and N. Dharam Singh. But the Congress did not act, he pointed and remarked: “People are not ignorant.”

Predicting the collapse of the UPA government at anytime, he said the BJP-led NDA would come to power at the Centre. “I want the Karnataka voters to understand that having the same party government in the State and at the Centre will be advantageous for them in terms of development,” he noted.

‘Survey may go wrong’

When his attention was drawn to several pre-poll surveys predicting that the Congress may win more seats than the BJP, Mr. Naidu maintained that the pre-poll surveys may go wrong as they were not scientific since their sample size is very small compared with the total number of voters.

He pointed that all the pre-poll surveys had predicted a victory for the NDA at the Centre in 2004 — which finally went wrong.

Similarly in 2008 during the Karnataka Assembly elections, pre-poll surveys predicted a victory for the Congress and again this was proved wrong, the BJP leader pointed out.

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