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BJP to contest in 450 LS seats: Rajnath

IANS  Chennai, September 27, 2013
First Published: 18:37 IST(27/9/2013) | Last Updated: 21:37 IST(27/9/2013)

BJP president Rajnath Singh on Friday said his party plans to contest around 450 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general elections and targets to win around 272  – so as to form the next central government on its own.

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On the Supreme Court verdict calling for negative voting by electronic voting machines (EVMs) and ballot papers, Rajnath Singh urged the poll panel to call an all-party meeting to discuss its implications.

"We may contest in 450 seats and target to win 272 of them," he told reporters in Chennai.

Asked about the additional 100 seats the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will contest, given it is perceived as being strong only in the Hindi heartland and in some other areas that have around 300-350 Lok Sabha constituencies, he said: "We will also be contesting in the south. We are growing in south."

The BJP chief said poll alliances with potential parties are part of the BJP's strategy and announcements on these would be made at appropriate time. Alliance talks are not being held in Tamil Nadu with the parties now, he said.

On Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's comment that the ordinance that seeks to save convicted lawmakers from disqualification was "completely nonsense and should be torn up," Rajnath Singh said he would like to ask Gandhi for his opinion about the UPA government.

On the apex court's judgment on allowing people to cast a "negative vote", he said: "We will study the judgment. The BJP will come out with a statement."

"Meanwhile, the Election Commission should take cognizance of the judgment and call an all-party meeting for discussion" on its implications, he said.

Referring to the killing of auditor V Ramesh, the BJP's state leader in Tamil Nadu, Rajnath Singh hoped Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa will take interest in the case and ensure the culprits are brought to book.

Police are yet to identify the killers, he added.

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