Karnataka is desperate for change, says state BJP chief and ex-CM Yeddyurappa
Former Karnataka chief minister and state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa tells Hindustan Times people of the state want change, and the BJP will win the 2018 assembly election and the 2019 Lok Saba polls.india Updated: Jan 22, 2018 07:24 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa in an interview to Hindustan Times says his party is confident of winning 150 out of 224 seats in the upcoming assembly polls. Edited excerpts from the interview:
Q. How do you see the Parivartan Yatra coming along?
A. I have visited 191 assembly constituencies so far and the response has been beyond our expectations.
Q. What do you attribute this response to?
A. There is anger against this government and it is clear that people want change.
Q. What, according to you, are the reasons for this anger?
A. Firstly, there has been a breakdown of law and order. Second, corruption has reached a peak. Third, development works have ground to a halt.
Q. How is the participation of national leaders helping your campaign?
A. State chief ministers and union ministers are participating in the yatra as per the instructions of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. In my view, this is creating a very favourable atmosphere. As for Yogi Adityanath, across the nation he enjoys as much respect as the prime minister because of his hard work. Within eight months he has changed Uttar Pradesh.
Q. Do you not think this election could turn into a national vs local campaign like in Bihar?
A. This is not so because people are desperately looking for a change. Besides, our achievements when we were in power and those of the central government over the past three years speak for themselves.
Q. The Karnataka CM has tried to pitch this as a secularism vs communalism battle. What is your view?
A. Painting a national party as communal shows his weakness. Calling us communal is boomeranging on them because when the Modi government came to the centre we were ruling six states, which has increased to 19 and pretty soon this number will go up with the addition of Karnataka. When Modi says ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, it means that Hindus, Muslims and Christians should live like the children of the same mother. Let them give one example of the Modi government breaking society.
Q. What about the controversy over union minister Anantkumar Hegde’s comments…
A. That issue is over. He has apologised in Parliament. I told him that he should not say such things and he has also realised that.
Q. Coastal Karnataka has witnessed rising communal tension and the Congress government has blamed your party for this...
A. As many as 24 Hindus have been murdered and Muslims, too, have been killed. This government has not been able to manage law and order. What is our role in this?
Q. What is your position on the demand for a separate religion status by a section of Lingayats?
A. My stand is clear. Shamanur Shivshankarappa is our national leader we will stick by his stand. The seer of the Siddaganga Mutt has also said that we must not break this community as Veerashaivas and Lingayats are the same.
Q. Chief minister Siddaramaiah has questioned your legitimacy because you were in jail…
A. He is an advocate so he should understand that the high court and Supreme Court have exonerated me… A bench of the high court criticised the refusal of bail saying such an instance had not happened even in Pakistan…
Q. News reports have hinted at differences in the state BJP…
A. Give me one example of this. For the past three months we have been touring together. Some media organisations and opposition parties are trying to create this.
Q. Are you confident of achieving Mission 150?
Q. What about the Lok Sabha elections in 2019?
A. We are going to win 23-24 seats this time (out of 28).