INTERVIEW | Even Rahul Gandhi knows I.N.D.I.A is not winning: Karnataka BJP leader Vijayendra

Despite the Congress’s so-called guarantee schemes, people want Narendra Modi to again become the PM.
Karnataka BJP president BY Vijayendra
Karnataka BJP president BY Vijayendra Nagaraja Gadekal

BJP state president BY Vijayendra says Congress leaders are under an illusion and think they can convince the voters by talking about guarantees. “People are intelligent. They will easily differentiate between the state and the national elections,” Vijayendra told Ramu Patil of The New Indian Express. Excerpts.

Is BJP’s claim of winning all 28 seats realistic?

Despite the Congress’s so-called guarantee schemes, people want Narendra Modi to again become the PM. That is the mood in all constituencies, including Bangalore Rural which was won by Congress in the last elections. People want change in that constituency. The Modi wave and Dr CN Manjunath’s candidature will help BJP. I have traveled extensively in all 28 Lok Sabha segments, there is no constituency where it is not possible for us to win. People are clearly with the BJP.

Congress says the BJP is trying to create a false impression that it will fall flat after the polls……

If the Congress was so confident of their victory in the state or at the national level, they wouldn’t have promised Rs 1 lakh each to woman in their manifesto. Their manifesto itself shows they will not win the polls. In the state, if the Congress was so confident of their performance in the last 10 months, around 10-15 ministers would have contested the LS polls. Not a single minister dared to contest. That was because of Narendra Modi’s popularity. Congress leaders are under an illusion and think they can convince the voters by talking about guarantees. People are intelligent and they will easily differentiate between the state and the national elections. Even Rahul Gandhi will agree that I.N.D.I.A will not come to power. If he was so confident, he would have contested from Amethi and not Wayanad.

Congress says if BJP was confident of winning 370 or 400 seats, why did it have to forge an alliance with JDS?

What is more important than the reason for the alliance is that even after 10 years of the NDA government, the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has improved. That shows that so much faith has been reposed in Modi’s leadership. Do we say ‘no’, if former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda says Modi should again become the PM and wants to be part of NDA? Look at I.N.D.I.A bloc. They have all come together to protect themselves, and there is no national interest.

The major allegation against the Centre is that it meted out injustice to Karnataka in tax devolution and drought relief. How do you respond?

What have they (the Congress government) done apart from giving Rs 2000 to farmers? When BS Yediyurappa was the CM, it took more than one year to release central grants for floods, but Yediyurappa gave Rs 4 lakh to those who lost houses, though it was Rs 1 lakh as per the NDRF norms. Rs 24,000 per hectare was given for horticulture crops and Rs 14,000 per hectare for other crops. It is true that the state is yet to get drought relief. Other states were also reeling under drought, but no CM tried to make it a political issue. The Congress government is trying to play its dirty politics. Is it not the responsibility of the state government to come to the rescue of farmers? The CM talks about giving Rs 10,000 crore to minorities and releases Rs 2000 crore. Why not give Rs 7,000 to 8000 to farmers? They are trying to mislead people. We are exposing them.

To cover up their failures they are blaming the Centre. After the implementation of guarantee schemes, the state government is under great distress. There is no money to even pay salaries. Since we are in the midst of the Lok Sabha polls, they are trying to project that everything is fine.

There are many issues: KS Eshwarappa is contesting as an independent candidate; Dingaleshwara Swamy is opposing Pralhad Joshi in Dharwad; and ex-MP Sanganna Karadi has joined Congress. How do you look at these developments?

In Shivamogga, (BY) Raghavendra will win by over a 2 lakh margin, Eshwarappaji is not a factor. His contribution to Shivamogga district in terms of development is big zero. Pralhad Joshi will also win by over a 1.5 lakh margin. We had requested Swamiji not to contest. In Koppal, Karadi Sanganna has changed the party ninth time, but we are winning the seat.

Do you think LS poll results will have a bearing on the state government’s stability?

Outcome of the Lok Sabha results in Karnataka will certainly disturb the minds of Congress leaders. I don’t think DK Shivakumar has the patience to wait for four years to become the CM. At the same time Siddaramaiah will not give it up so easily. But, it is none of our business, we are happy to sit in opposition.

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