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Single, confident and ready to win

Two’s a crowd. That’s what the three major political parties in Karnataka, Cong, BJP and JD-S, are saying for the upcoming Assembly elections as they rule out post-election tie-ups. BR Srikanth reports.Promises galore: graphics
Hindustan Times | By BR Srikanth, Bangalore
UPDATED ON MAY 06, 2008 03:19 AM IST

Two’s a crowd. That’s what political parties in Karnataka are saying. The three major players — Congress, BJP and JD-S — that forged alliances to rule the state between May 2004 and November 2007 are confident of forming a government on their own steam.

So much so that there are no pre-poll alliances — except in Shikaripura where former CM S. Bangarappa (Samajawadi Party) has the support of the Congress and JD-S against BJP’s BS Yediyurappa — and all three parties have also ruled out post-election tie-ups.

The BJP released details of a survey that shows the party would form the next government on its own. It withheld the name of the organisation that conducted the survey but revealed the figures: 119 to 129 seats for the BJP against 60 to 65 for Congress and less than 20 for JD-S.

“We find that the BJP is firm on the ground. We are confident of having a comfortable win,” said senior leader Venkaiah Naidu.

Union minister Prithviraj Chavan said the Congress has the best “social combination” and “favourable political factors” to cross the 113 mark in the 224-member house. “There’s no need for a post-poll alliance. We will have a government on our own,” he said.

Chavan said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would address rallies at Tumkur and Bangalore on May 7 and the following day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would address party workers in the state capital.

Interestingly, the Dal that was part of two successive coalition governments said it had suffered at the hands of its partners and would, therefore, not venture into another power-sharing pact. “We have suffered enough by supporting Congress and sharing power with BJP. We will not repeat it again,” said former PM and party chief H.D. Deve Gowda on Monday after releasing the party’s manifesto.

In the foreword to the manifesto, he has talked about coalition politics. “I was involved with all happenings during the formation of the government of Karnataka. I am aware of all the happenings regarding alliance with Congress party, how it broke and how the BJP came to power and how they lost it. I am not mud slinging. However, if attempts are made to twist the truth and false allegations are made against us, I am willing to put forward truthful happenings of that time, before the people.”

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