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BJP will contest Karnataka polls on its own: Amit Shah

The BJP chief says if general elections were held today, the BJP would do better than it did in 2014.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2018 08:24 IST
Shishir Gupta and DK Singh
Shishir Gupta and DK Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Amit Shah,Karnataka assembly elections 2017,Bharatiya Janata Party
BJP president Amit Shah with Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeduyurappa. (PTI File Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will go it alone in Karnataka, and contest every seat, party president Amit Shah said in an interview earlier this week, putting to rest speculation that the party would ally with the Janata Dal (S) of HD Deve Gowda. “We will contest every seat,” added Shah.

The party is also confident of doing better in the 2019 parliamentary elections than it did in 2014. The BJP will not only do as well as it did in 2014 in key states such as Uttar Pradesh (where it won 71 of 80 Lok Sabha seats) but also make gains in Odisha, West Bengal, and the north-east, Shah said. It is also closely looking at Tamil Nadu, he added. With the entry of actors Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth into politics, equations in the state have changed and involve more than just the two mainstream political parties that have dominated for the past five decades — the DMK and the AIADMK. A lot could happen in politics between now and 2019, Shah admitted, but if general elections were held today, the BJP would do better than it did in 2014, he said.

Read more| Amit Shah interview: BJP is doing well, gaining in each state

Shah was also sure that the BJP will retain the three important states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan, where it is the incumbent government, and which go to the polls towards the end of this year. There has been some talk of the BJP bringing forward the polls to these states marginally, and clubbing them with the Lok Sabha elections due for mid-2019. Shah laughed this question away, though. “Even if we were planning to do this, I’m not going to tell you,” he said.

In recent months, there has been discussion about simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and at least key states, so as to reduce the time politicians spend campaigning and increase the time they spend governing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken of the need for this on at least a few occasions.

So, what worries Shah?

“The media,” he said promptly.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 08:24 IST