Special Correspondent

Says there was no BJP wave during Assembly elections

Attributes party’s performance to money power

BANGALORE: State Samajwadi Party president S. Bangarappa on Saturday said all secular parties at the national and State level should come together for the coming Lok Sabha elections and hinted at the possibility of his party joining hands with the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) in Karnataka.

Mr. Bangarappa told presspersons here that he was in favour of seat adjustment among secular parties to defeat the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). “I fully support the statement of the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda that the JD(S) has an open mind on entering into an alliance with the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections.”

Welcomes pact

Mr. Bangarappa also welcomed the understanding between the Congress and the JD(S) while fielding candidates for the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections. He said there was nothing wrong if the Samajwadi Party extended support to the United Progressive Alliance Government in case the Left parties withdrew support.

Analysing the reasons for his defeat in the Assembly elections from Shikaripur constituency, Mr. Bangarappa alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party had spent around Rs. 50 crore in Shikaripur alone. “In 40 years of my political career I have never seen money being so blatantly spent during elections. While I respect the people’s verdict, one needs to analyse what moulded public opinion,” he remarked.

Mr. Bangarappa said there was no “BJP wave” during the elections. The party was able to win 110 seats by spending around Rs. 500 crore, “which was mainly funded by mine owners who have now made it to the Ministry”. If not for the money it spent, the BJP would have ended up with around 60 seats, he claimed.

Fertilizer scarcity

Referring to the fertilizer crisis in the State, he said the previous JD(S)-BJP Government was responsible for the shortage of fertilizers and seeds, and the Governor alone could not be blamed for the problem.

“While he was the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, B.S. Yeddyurappa had demanded the resignation of the then Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh in the wake of suicide by farmers. Mr. Yeddyurappa should now introspect whether he has the moral right to continue as Chief Minister with several farmers ending their lives unable to get fertilizers and seeds.”

‘No experience’

Instead of ensuring adequate supply of fertilizers and seeds, Mr. Yeddyurappa is busy visiting the houses of farmers who committed suicide and is paying compensation cheques to their families. “The Government has failed to handle the situation because there are no experienced persons in the Ministry,” he said.