Herald: BJP won’t let Karnataka’s development journey to be trampled upon: Modi
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BJP won’t let Karnataka’s development journey to be trampled upon: Modi

16 May 2018 04:16am IST
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16 May 2018 04:16am IST

PTI, NEW DELHI: With the BJP staking claim to form government in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that his party will not allow the state's development journey to be trampled upon, terming the assembly poll results an "unparalleled and unprecedented win".

The BJP has emerged as the single largest party but fallen short of a majority in the state assembly, and its rivals- the Congress and the JD(S)- have joined hands also to stake claim to form the new government. 

"I want to assure the people of Karnataka that the BJP will not allow the state's development journey to be trampled upon. It will not lag behind for ensuring the state a bright future," he said in an address to party leaders and workers at its headquarters.

Attacking those for spreading "lies" that the BJP is a party of north India despite it forming governments in non-Hindi speaking states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Assam among other states, Modi said people of Karnataka have given a befitting reply to those with such a "distorted" mindset. "This is an unparalleled and unprecedented win," he said.

Without naming the Congress, Modi targeted it, saying a party, which ruled the country for decades, has damaged the Constitution and the country's federal structure by pitting north India against south India and spreading tensions between the Centre and states.

Elections happen but the attempts to harm institutions is a matter of concern, he said. 

He also referred to the recovery of close to 10,000 voter identity cards in the state to target the opposition party and said some of its deeds was found out, some might have been not. A case was registered against the Congress candidate there with the Election Commission deferring poll in that constituency.

Citing the response of people to his rallies during which they urged him to continue speaking in his language, the prime minister said some "fissiparous forces" may not like him but they should sense the mood of the masses.

During his visits to different states, he would often think about how to overcome the language barrier and convey his message to the people but the people of Karnataka gave him so much love that it was never an issue, he said.

Modi also showered praise on BJP chief Amit Shah, who was present in the meeting, and said his excellent strategy has led the party to one win after another. Party workers could draw lesson from his hard work, he said, referring to his gruelling schedule in the state during the campaign.

The prime minister also voiced his anguish at the flyover collapse incident in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi. A portion of the under-construction flyover collapsed there, killing at least 16 people while more were feared trapped under the debris, officials said.

The Centre is mobilising all resources, including the Army, for relief and rescue efforts, he said, adding that he had also spoken to Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath. 


Learning from mistakes, Cong acted swiftly to be in race for power in Karnataka

PTI, NEW DELHI: Learning from past mistakes, the Congress today moved swiftly to remain in the game as it extended support to JD(S) to form a government in Karnataka after the BJP failed to get a simple majority.

The move is seen as an attempt by the beleaguered party to save yet another state from slipping out of its kitty. The Congress currently rules Punjab, Mizoram and Puducherry. 

Today's step will also help provide a major boost to the "sagging morale" of the Congress ahead of state assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where the party sees an opportunity to upstage the BJP, and 2019 general elections.  

Unlike in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya, where the Congress failed to form its government despite securing the highest seats, it forged a quick post-poll alliance with the JD-S in Karnataka and staked claim to government formation.

Sensing a clear opportunity, the Congress leadership took a quick call to let go of the post of chief minister, which it offered to JD-S that lapped it up immediately.

Sources said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi discussed the issue with Sonia Gandhi and decided to play out the card of offering chief ministership to HD Kumaraswamy, the son of JD-S supremo and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.

The decision was conveyed to the JD-S leadership which sealed the deal immediately.

Party veterans Ashok Gehlot and Ghulam Nabi Azad had been positioned in Bengaluru since yesterday to take care of the last minute strategy, should the need arise. 

Their presence proved handy today as they engaged the JD-S leaders HD Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy to seal the post poll deal and re-enter what appeared a lost game for them until this afternoon.

The attempt is also a bid to salvage its position in Karnataka, where the party's tally fell from 122 in 2013 to 78 this time and its chief minister Siddharamaiah lost from one of the two seats he contested.

The move will also help bolster the party's attempt to remain at the centre-stage of a larger opposition alliance against the Narendra Modi juggernaut in its bid to defeat the BJP.  

The Congress has been a downslide and is losing state after state ever since the Modi-led BJP started its upward journey. 

The ball is now in the court of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, after both the Congress-JD-S alliance as well as the BS Yeddyurappa-led BJP staked claim to form  government.

As all parties wait and watch, the Congress today made it clear that it would go all out to ensure that it forms the next Karnataka government with JD(S) and hinted at even moving the court in case it is stopped from doing so.

The Congress has cited the March 13, 2017, judgement of the Supreme Court in this regard as well as constitutional and legal provisions. 

It also cited the past practices followed by the BJP in forming its governments in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya, where the Congress could not form governments despite emerging as the single-largest party.

"We expect the Governor to listen to the mandate of the people...However, all options will always remain open to the Congress," party's communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said when asked what would the party do if the Governor calls the BJP to prove majority on the floor of the assembly.

"The Governor has no choice but to invite the JD(S)-Congress coalition which has a clear majority to form the government in the state.

"As per constitutional and legal provisions, the Governor has no option but to invite the coalition," he said.

The Congress cited the precedents BJP set in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya to turn the argument around and said post poll alliances of parties can be called to form the government. 

"This is the precedent the BJP has set," he said. 

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