Don’t ignore Karnataka, warns state BJP chief

May 19th, 2009 - 11:29 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, May 19 (IANS) Buoyed by its good showing in Karnataka - winning 19 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats from the state - the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has warned the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government against discriminating against Karnataka on development issues.
“Though the Congress fared badly in the elections in Karnataka, winning only six of the 28 Lok Sabha seats, we hope its new UPA government will not discriminate against us on developmental issues again. We don’t want to do politics on the development of the state,” state BJP unit president D.V. Sadananada Gowda told IANS here in an interview.

The good showing in the Lok Sabha elections by the BJP comes a year after it came to power in the state on its own for the first time following the May 2008 assembly elections.

“If you ask me why the people of Karnataka voted in favour of our party in a big way in this election too, as against the national trend, it is because of the continued discrimination against the state by the Congress-led UPA government during its first term.

“If the discrimination on various political, social and economic issues continues, I am afraid the Congress would be wiped out of the state in the next elections,” Gowda said.

In the 2004 general elections, the BJP bagged 18 of the 28 constituencies in the state, while the Congress had eight and the regional Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) two. The JD-S got three seats in the 2009 elections.

Gowda was elected from the newly drawn Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency defeating K. Jayaprakash Hegde of the Congress by a margin of 27,018 votes. He represented Dakshin Kannada in the 14th Lok Sabha.

Expressing disappointment at the BJP-led NDA’s poor performance in the 2009 polls, Gowda said the party’s parliamentary board was analysing the outcome to ascertain factors behind the reverses the BJP and its allies faced in other states.

Admitting that the people of Karnataka had entrusted the party with greater responsibility after elections to the 15th Lok Sabha, Gowda said the onus of ensuring the UPA government’s support to the state was equally with the newly elected members of the Congress and the JD-S.

“We hope the new MPs of the Congress and the JD-S, which includes three former chief ministers (M. Veerappa Moily, N. Dharam Singh and H.D. Kumaraswamy) and one union minister (K.H. Muniyappa), will also strive to get support of the centre for the development of the state,” he said.

Claiming that the verdict was positive for his party in the state, Gowda said the outcome had demonstrated that the people of Karnataka had rejected the Congress charge that the BJP was a communal party.

“Our party’s voting percentage in the state has increased to 42.33 percent in this parliamentary election from 34.77 in the 2004 elections and 27.18 in 1999 elections,” Gowda said.

The Congress vote share stood at 38.11 percent in 2009, 36.82 percent in 2004 and 45.41 percent in 1999. The JD-S voting percentage decreased to 13.34 from 20.45 in 2004. It was 13.28 percent in 1999.

Gowda accused the JD-S of supporting the Congress tacitly by not contesting in as many as 10 constituencies and fielding weak candidates in others.

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