Advani asks party to carry Karnataka victory to Lok Sabha

June 3rd, 2008 - 12:41 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) senior leader L.K. Advani Monday exhorted his party’s cadres to carry the momentum of victory in Karnataka polls last week to the Lok Sabha elections due next year even as the Congress reels under poll debacles in state after state. “Being a frontrunner is not enough. The challenge before our party and our alliance (National Democratic Alliance) is to transform the reality from being a frontrunner to being seen as a clear winner,” Advani said at the party’s national executive.

“The psychological impact of the victory in Karnataka has been enormous. It has shocked the Congress and pushed it into a state of utter despondency.”

Advani said the new resurgence in the BJP as a result of its first poll victory in a southern state was the second turning point in the history of the party.

The first was in 1989 general elections when the party moved from two seats, in 1984 elections, to 88 seats.

Reiterating the BJP agenda of good governance, development and security, Advani said that the time has come to outdo the party performance in 1999 when it won 182 seats.

Showing pragmatism, Advani urged the party leaders to strengthen the NDA and expressed the hope that more parties would ally with it.

“Once the BJP is seen as a clear winner, it is bound to have a positive effect on the size and strength of the NDA. We can expect - we are indeed confident - that more parties will join our alliance,” he said.

“The stability and cohesion of the NDA depends on our ability to attract and retain allies who may not be ideologically aligned with the BJP on all issues.”

For the next Lok Sabha polls, Advani gave the party a slogan used in the Gujarat campaign: Jeetega Bhajapa, Jeetega Bharat (BJP will win and so will India).

Advani said the victory in Karnataka should be replicated in the forthcoming assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, and Mizoram.

The octogenerian leader said the party should not let the Congress hope of anti-incumbency work in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where the BJP is in power.

Emphasising on the need to galvanise the party organization in all states, he said there was a need to intensify mass-contact programmes and reach out to every section of society, including Muslims and Christians.

“We should emphasise that our party seeks the all-round development and participation of minorities in a non-divisive and integrative agenda without recourse to appeasement or religion-based reservations,” he said.

He exhorted the youth and women wings of the party to win over the 100 million first-time voters - half of whom will be women - in the next Lok Sabha elections.

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