BJP prime ministerial candidate LK Advani on Saturday ruled out another coalition experiment with former ally Janata Dal (S) in Karnataka. The party would occupy Opposition benches if it fails to secure a majority in the elections to the legislative assembly in Karnataka, Advani told a Press conference on Saturday.
“If we do not get a clear mandate, we would prefer to sit in Opposition rather than go for alliances. You’re aware how our party was betrayed not once, but twice, by the JDS. My view is never betray trust, be it in politics or in life,” he said.
“My appeal to voters is straight and simple. You have so far given Congress many a chance. You have also given various formations of the Janata Dal a chance. This time, give the BJP a chance to set things right. The people of Karnataka have an opportunity, no an obligation to ensure that 2004 does not repeat in 2008. The 2004 verdict led to a hung assembly. 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,” he said.
Tracing the rise of the BJP, he said, the party had moved from winning seats in single digits to wielding power in the Lok Sabha. “One point is bothering us,” he said. “The four southern states are not really with us. However, we have been observing Karnataka moving towards the BJP by winning seats in the state assembly,” he said.
He said urban chaos in the state was largely due to the lack of a master plan and lack of political will to create urban infrastructure. A clear mandate to BJP will help tackle it. On why the BJP had not given a ticket to a Muslim in the state despite its claims of representing various sections, Advani said candidates cannot be fielded just for the sake of doing so.
Taking a potshot at the Congress, Advani said while BJP was clear on who would captain the team in the state, the Congress ambiguity was like “deciding the captain after the match was over”.