INTERVIEW | BJP’s internal feud will explode after LS polls, says Laxman Savadi

“Shettar and Yediyurappa are solely responsible for making Dingaleshwar Swamy contest against Joshi,’’ he reiterated.
Congress leader Laxman  Savadi
Congress leader Laxman Savadi (Photo | PTI)

BELAGAVI: Once a staunch BJP leader and close to the RSS ranks, former deputy CM Laxman Savadi, who switched to the Congress last year, said the raging internal feud in the state BJP is reaching a boiling point and will explode soon after the Lok Sabha polls.

In an exclusive interview with TNIE on Friday, Savadi, who is on a whirlwind election campaign in Chikkodi, said, “You must know that there is a massive internal fight in the BJP. (BJP leader) KS Eshwarappa’s main objective of contesting from Shivamogga constituency (as an independent) is to defeat BJP candidate Raghavendra, son of former CM B S Yediyurappa.’’

At the behest of former CM Jagadish Shettar and Yediyurappa, Dingaleshwar Swamy (independent) is contesting with the sole aim of defeating Pralhad Joshi of the BJP in Hubballi. “Shettar and Yediyurappa are solely responsible for making Dingaleshwar Swamy contest against Joshi,’’ he reiterated.

The internal feud in the BJP is spreading wide, he said, adding, “Attempts are also on within the saffron party to ensure the defeat of former CM Basavaraj Bommai and former minister V Somanna in the coming polls.’’

Responding to a question, he said given the ground situation and the pulse of the people in the state ahead of the election, the Congress is certain to gain an upper hand. The Congress has a target of winning at least 20 out of 28 seats in the state with more seats in North Karnataka region, he added.

Savadi said in North Karnataka, the Congress is set to win Bidar, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Belagavi, Chikkodi and Karwar. “The BJP will lose many seats. Let them win the Shivamogga seat first,’’ he added.

On why he thinks the Congress has better chances of winning more seats this time, Savadi said the people are upset with the failures of the BJP government at the Centre in the last 10 years. At the same time, people are impressed by the Congress government’s guarantee schemes in Karnataka. “The common masses are happy with the guarantees. About 80 to 85 per cent of the women are ready to vote for the Congress in the state, happy over the guarantee schemes,’’ he said.

When asked whether the Modi factor will help the BJP win the coming election, he said the Modi wave had totally waned. “The ground situation is different today. Before it came to power at the Centre, the BJP leadership said it would expand the so-called ‘Gujarat Model’ to the entire country. To come to power, the BJP planted many other things in people’s minds assuring them of linking rivers in India, bringing back black money from foreign banks, depositing Rs 15 lakh in every bank account, doubling farmers income, etc. It failed to fulfil the promises,’’ Savadi said.

“Sangh Parivar activist Chakravarti Sulibele was on a hectic campaign before Modi became the PM. He had said once the black money was brought back to India by the Modi government, roads across the country would become gold-plated. Sulibele also had said bullet trains which were run in Japan and China could start in India and after which it is possible to reach Delhi from Belagavi city within two hours. Sulibele also claimed dollar rates would be lower than the Indian rupee and gas could be given through pipelines, Savadi said, adding that people found out that none of the promises made by the BJP were fulfilled in the last 10 years. “I am hopeful that the Congress will reach the target of 20 seats in the state,’’ he said.

About his future in state politics, Savadi indicated that he is hopeful of entering the cabinet of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after the Lok Sabha election. In the backdrop of the “hasty decision” by Shettar to return to the BJP, Savadi said, “You need to have some patience. I joined the Congress recently and I am not supposed to expect too much so soon. You need to complete the work given to you before claiming the salary. Who will give you the salary before you deliver,’’ he said.

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