BJP will not join any coalition in Karnataka: Advani

May 3rd, 2008 - 6:29 pm ICT by admin  


Bangalore, May 3 (IANS) A once-bitten-twice-shy Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday said it would sit in opposition if it failed to get a clear majority in this month’s legislative assembly elections in Karnataka. “If we do not get a clear mandate to rule Karnataka, we will prefer to sit in opposition than go for alliances,” BJP leader L.K. Advani told reporters here.

In an appeal to the electorate, Advani said BJP deserved to be given a chance to form a stable government on its own.

“My appeal to voters of Karnataka is straight and simple: You have so far given the Congress many a chance. You have also given various formations of Janata Dal a chance. This time, give BJP a chance to set things right in Bangalore and Karnataka,” Advani said.

Ruling out post-poll alliances to form a coalition government in case BJP or other parties do not get a clear majority, Advani said having been betrayed once (by Janata Dal-Secular) it was difficult to trust again the same or any other party to form a stable government.

“You all are aware how our party was betrayed not once but twice by JD-S. My view is never betray trust, be it in politics or life,” Advani said in an obvious reference to the refusal of JD-S to transfer power to BJP last October and withdrawing support a month later after agreeing to form the third coalition government in the state under B.S. Yedyurappa’s leadership.

Expressing confidence of securing a clear majority to form the new government on its own, Advani admitted that though BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the state in the 2004 assembly polls, it did not get mandate to rule.

“We were voted to be the single largest party with 79 seats in the 224-member house but did not get enough mandate to form a government of our own. Hence, I am appealing to the Karnataka people to give us a clear majority this time to serve the state and its 55-million people.”

Karnataka is set for a three-phase polling May 10, 16 and 22 to elect a new government by this month-end. Vote counting is scheduled May 25.

The state is under president’s rule since Nov 20, 2007 after the fall of the seven-day BJP-led coalition government following the withdrawal of support by its coalition partner JD-S.

A fractured verdict in the May 2004 general election led to the formation of the first coalition government in the state by a defeated Congress and an upbeat JD-S, which had won respectively 64 and 58 seats.

After 20 months, former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy revolted against the Congress-led government in January 2006 and withdrew support to its chief minister N. Dharam Singh. Joining hands with BJP, Kumaraswamy formed the second coalition government in February 2006 on the condition he would transfer power to his deputy, Yedyurappa of BJP, after 20 months rule in October 2007.

Reminding the electorate about the consequences of repeating a fractured verdict, Advani said his two-day electioneering in the old Mysore region, where the first phase of polling is due May 10 in 89 assembly segments, had indicated people wanted a stable, progressive and performing government.

“The people of Karnataka have an opportunity, an obligation to ensure that 2004 does not repeat in 2008. The 2004 verdict led to a hung assembly. When there is a virus attack, the computer hangs and malfunctions. This is what happened to the system of governance in the state after the last assembly election. The virus of opportunism and betrayal by Congress and JD-S wreaked havoc with governance and development in Karnataka,” Advani said.

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