BJP dismisses opinion poll predictions for Karnataka

Special Correspondent

Claims its survey projects decisive mandate in its favour

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday dismissed surveys favouring the Congress in the Karnataka Assembly polls. It said they will prove to be as wrong as those for Gujarat where heavy losses were predicted for the BJP.

The party claimed that its survey pointed to a clear and decisive mandate in its favour. It showed that the BJP would get 119 to 129 seats in an Assembly of 224.

Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said the two issues his party emphasised – the “great betrayal” by the Janata Dal (Secular) which failed to keep its commitment of sharing chief ministership with the BJP in rotation and the “high inflation” that has betrayed the common man – have clicked with the people.

He said the BJP had placed a clear choice before the people and projected a candidate for Chief Minister, whereas the Congress had many chief ministerial aspirants and no clear leader.

“We projected our leader first, we brought out our manifesto first and started our campaign ahead of others,” Mr. Naidu said.

He found fault with the Congress for not contesting the BJP chief ministerial aspirant B.S. Yeddyurappa directly, but conspiring with the Samajwadi Party and the JD (S) against him.

While talking about “rural distress” in Karnataka, “urban chaos” in its cities and “traffic woes” in Bangalore, Mr. Naidu did not take responsibility for what happened during the 20-month BJP-JD(S) coalition government led by H.D. Kumaraswamy. Mr. Naidu said that as Finance Minister in that government Mr. Yeddyurappa had done a lot of good work like “reducing interest rates for loans taken by farmers to four per cent through State government cooperative banks.”

Mr. Naidu hit back at the Congress for its attacks during the election campaign against the BJP on the issue of terrorism.

The Congress had criticised the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for releasing and “delivering” hardcore terrorists to the Taliban in Kandahar following the Indian Airlines hijack incident. He warned: “We will ask counter questions. Who trained the LTTE? Who encouraged Bhindranwale?”

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