‘There is a fight in the Congress for the post of Chief Minister’

The Bharatiya Janata Party has got rid of tainted leaders and emerged cleaner, said Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Loka Sabha here on Friday.

Addressing an election rally at Gonicoppa in Virajpet Assembly constituency in Kodagu, Ms. Swaraj said the BJP had been a victim of internal bickering in the past. “Bit this has not come in the way carrying out development work to the satisfaction of all, Ms. Swaraj said. However, she cautioned the voters not to get swayed by the caste factor while choosing the candidates. Ms. Swaraj, who began her speech in Kannada, said that she would salute Goddess Cauvery and the great soldiers the district had produced, before switching over to Hindi.

She accused the Congress of indulging in large scale corruption in all spheres and named the 2G spectrum scam, Commonwealth Games scam and coal block allocation scam. Ms. Swaraj, who arrived in a helicopter to campaign in favour of the BJP candidate from Virajpet segment, K.G. Bopaiah, said there were both good and bad times during the five-year governance of the BJP in Karnataka. Still, the BJP had come out with a record number of welfare schemes for the people of the State.

‘Teach a lesson’

It was time that the voters taught a lesson to the Congress for involving itself in a number of scams by bringing back the BJP to power. The internal problems of the BJP in the State had ended and all were now united. On the contrary, a tug-of-war had started in the Congress on the issue of chief ministership, she said. Appealing to the voters to re-elect Mr. Bopaiah, who is the Speaker of the Assembly, Ms. Swaraj said elections in a democratic set up gave an opportunity for the people to re-elect those who had done good work and reject non-performers. The people of Kodagu should also ensure the victory of M.P. Appachu Ranjan, who was contesting as the party candidate from the Madikeri as both the incumbents had done their best to develop Kodagu by securing huge grants, she said.

Mr. Bopaiah, who spoke, said that he had kept his promise to the people of Kodagu by resolving the burning issues, main being the Bane land issue. The BJP had accounted greatly for the development of Kodagu during its rule in the State, including improvement of the roads in the district.

PM candidate

Ms. Swaraj, who spoke to presspersons later, said that the party would pick the right candidate for the post of Prime Minister during the next Lok Sabha elections. She came down heavily on V. Dhananjaya Kumar, the KJP leader, for accusing the L.K. Advani family of receiving huge sums of money from Mr. B.S. Yeddyurappa, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka. Mr. Kumar did not have the moral right to issue such statements, she said. She expressed confidence stating the BJP would come back to power in the Karnataka elections.

The president of the State Mahila Morcha of the BJP, Reena Prakash, MLC G. Madhusudan, local leaders, Ravi Kushalappa, Manu Muthappa, Shuja Kushalappa, were present.

  • Swaraj began her speech in Kannada and saluted Goddess Cauvery

  • ‘The internal problems of the BJP in the State has ended’