The Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka will have a lot to prove in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. There are a lot of expectations on the state party leadership especially after it formed the first ever BJP government in the south.
We caught up Sadananda Gowda, state BJP chief and member of Parliament, who shared his thoughts on the prospects of his party in the forthcoming elections. Gowda told rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa that the BJP will win 23 out of the 28 parliamentary seats in Karnataka.
There is a general complaint that the BJP in Karnataka has just not done enough after it came to power. How do you think this will affect the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections?
What you said is not correct. The BJP has delivered the goods and in the coming years the government will do much more for the development of the state. The results of the elections will prove everyone wrong.
The last time the BJP had won 18 out seats in the state. What is your prediction this time?
We are hopeful of a better showing this time. I can say with confidence that the BJP will bag 23 seats. We have worked for it and I am sure that we will better our last tally.
There seems to be a delay in finalising the list of candidates to contest the elections. Could you tell us when the entire list will be ready?
We are still working on the list. Our senior leaders in New Delhi are working on the same. We have finalised the list of candidates. Final touches are being given to the list. The BJP will have its final list of candidates for the entire country in a week.
There is a raging controversy in Karnataka regarding Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's son. Some leaders in your party are opposed to the idea of giving him a ticket. What is the status of this controversy now?
The issue is dead. The central unit of the party is seized of the matter now. The problems between the leaders in Karnataka have been resolved and there are no differences. The party is as united as ever in Karnataka. We have referred the matter to the central leadership and whatever decision is taken by them, all state leaders will abide by it.
Will the launch of the Third Front affect the BJP's chances?
The launch of the Third Front makes no difference to us. In fact it does not make a difference to anyone. Basically, a set of parties and its leaders who have no base have joined hands and formed a front. They have no place in Indian politics and hence they have decided to join hands. These leaders were desperate and needed to build an image and hence the Third Front was launched.
What is the BJP's agenda during these elections?
We would go the people and request them to shun the Congress party. We will tell them how the Congress has failed to safeguard the interests of the people. The Congress has failed to keep a check on prices and also failed miserably while tackling the issue of terrorism. These are burning issues and people want a solution. I say that only the BJP can tackle these problems and the voters too are gradually beginning to realise this.