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Congress is a sinking ship, no leader can save it: Venkaiah

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dramatic: BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu with city unit president Vijayakumar (left) and former Minister R. Ashok, at the press conference in Bangalore on Thursday.
dramatic: BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu with city unit president Vijayakumar (left) and former Minister R. Ashok, at the press conference in Bangalore on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

‘S.M. Krishna’s entry will only add to the confusion’

BANGALORE: Bharatiya Janata Party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday ridiculed the reported efforts by the Congress to get Maharashtra Governor S.M. Krishna into active politics in Karnataka and remarked that “nobody can save the Congress from defeat in the coming Assembly elections”.

“Congress is a sinking ship. Neither Rama [Siddaramaiah] nor Krishna [S.M. Krishna] can prevent it from sinking. In fact, Mr. Krishna’s entry will only add to the confusion in the Congress,” Mr. Naidu remarked at a press conference in Bangalore.

Alleging that the Congress did not have good leaders, he challenged the party to name its leader for the polls. Charging the Congress with trying to put off the Assembly polls out of fear of losing, he said: “The Congress can only put off the defeat, but cannot avoid it.”

Mr. Naidu said the Congress was gripped by nervousness after the 2004 General elections as it had managed to win Assembly elections in only one State (Goa) of the seven which have gone to polls since then.

Hence, the Congress was trying to put off the Assembly elections in Karnataka, he alleged, and warned the UPA Government at the Centre that it would get a befitting reply from people of Karnataka if it tried to play with their aspirations by trying to put off the polls.

He demanded that elections to Karnataka Assembly be held by March end itself, instead of putting it off to May.

He termed as a lame excuse the theory that more time is required to prepare the new electoral rolls if elections were to be held after the delimitation exercise. “Delimitation does not mean having new voters. It is only the question of distribution of existing voters in different constituencies. “It is the computer age. Bangalore being the centre of IT activities, you should be in a position to prepare a new voters’ list (if delimitation takes place) within a week,” he argued.

Replying to a query on senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader M.P. Prakash set to join the Congress fold, Mr. Venkaiah said; “If somebody wants to step into the sinking ship, I can only say all the best.”

Bharat Ratna issue

Mr. Naidu strongly defended BJP leader L.K. Advani’s action of writing a letter to the Prime Minister proposing the name of party veteran A.B. Vajpayee for the Bharat Ratna. “Mr. Vajpayee is a great son of India and a towering personality who stands above other political leaders.

It is the duty of the Government to honour such personalities. When the Government forgets its duty, it is the responsibility of others to remind it. Mr. Advani has only done this job of reminding the Government. It is left to the Government’s wisdom to either accept it or not,” he said.

Predicting that General elections to the Lok Sabha might be held this year itself, Mr. Naidu said the BJP’s national executive meeting to be held in Delhi on January 27, and the national council meet scheduled on January 28 and 29 will take stock of the political developments and the party’s poll preparations.

The meeting would also discuss the country’s agricultural scenario, he said.

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