BJP hopes the juggernaut will roll on to next Lok Sabha

May 25th, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Narendra Modi

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) After romping home to an unprecedented victory in Karnataka, a jubilant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sunday asserted the juggernaut is going to roll on to win the next Lok Sabha polls. “There is a national implication (in the Karnataka victory) as this is the eleventh defeat of the Congress (since 2004) and this will reflect in the Lok Sabha elections whether it is held this year or the next,” said Sushma Swaraj, senior BJP leader.

Capitalising on this victory, the BJP was quick to declare that the outcome reflected the failure of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in New Delhi.

“The issues of price rise, farmers’ suicides and the spread of terrorism to this part of the country had their impact on the (Karnataka assembly) elections,” said senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Even analysts agreed that the victory would have a national impact.

“Certainly this victory will have a national impact. It will strengthen the (BJP-led) NDA (National Democratic Alliance). For sometime, it was being felt that the NDA was a sinking ship,” said Swapan Dasgupta, a noted columnist.

With the other NDA allies now rallying closer to the BJP, the party and the alliance are likely to emerge stronger in the coming elections.

The BJP was likely to win 110 seats in the 225-member Karnataka assembly. The Congress was expected to get 76 - just 11 more than its tally in the 2003 elections. Janata Dal (S) was expected to come a poor third with 29 seats.

This was the first clear victory in a southern state for the BJP - till now regarded more as a northern party.

“BJP’s entry into the South is a big issue, a big achievement,” said Narendra Modi, Gujarat chief minister, who has emerged as a strong leader within the BJP.

The party now hopes this will have a positive impact in the remaining southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as well.

BJP won the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections in December.

“This is the first time since independence that any party could make it better than the Congress. There are BJP governments in seven states of the country now,” said Rajnath Singh, BJP national president.

The BJP is now hopeful of retaining Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, which go to polls in November. “Other than these states, we will also win the Delhi assembly polls,” said Naidu.

However, the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) are not going to take things lying down.

“Congress president Sonia Gandhi looks at issues meticulously. We will sit down and analyse the defeat with those who were responsible for these elections,” said Jayanthi Natarajan, Congress spokesperson.

But this does not deter the BJP.

“This verdict is against the Congress. It is time for them to do some serious soul-searching. They have lost state after state,” said Arun Jaitley, BJP general secretary in-charge of Karnataka.

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