Surveys indicate that Congress is projected to win over 140 out of a total 224 seats in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls, party state unit president D K Shivakumar claimed on Tuesday, as he also suggested that several sitting legislators of the ruling BJP will be joining the party in the coming days.
He was speaking to reporters after inducting two former BJP MLAs and its former Mysuru mayor into the party.
The three leaders who quit BJP and joined Congress today are former Kollegala MLA G N Nanjundaswamy and Manohar Ainapur, a former MLA from Bijapur, along with former Mysuru mayor Purushottam.
Shivakumar also claimed that the BJP wanted to call for elections in Karnataka soon after the 2022 Gujarat poll results were out but backtracked on the move. ”Former legislators are joining the Congress quitting the BJP. In the coming days, we will also announce the list of sitting legislators who will be joining; discussions are on in this regard. I will not reveal any names for now,” Shivakumar said.
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He said leaders are joining the Congress without any conditions, and accepting the party’s ideology and leadership.
”Like floods, several leaders are joining the party at the district level, some prominent leaders are being inducted here. It is very clear that the public opinion is in favour of the Congress.
”Our earlier survey had projected our seat tally at 136, now our survey is projecting above 140 seats. The change has begun. We are seeing it as we travel across the state,” Shivakumar added.
Further stating that only about 50 days are left for polls, Shivakumar claimed that the BJP wanted to urgently call for elections after 2022 Gujarat polls. They had held discussions with officials and had also decided on dates, but it is getting delayed, he further claimed.
”The reason is BJP feels that the more the number of days they get, it will be beneficial for them, so they are making such attempts. Every day short term tenders are happening, mobilisation of advance is happening, tenders are happening and money is being released in haste without looking at anything,” he said, adding that the Congress will discuss it and come out with a stand on this to be communicated to the government.
Stating that the Congress is prepared for elections, even if it is held immediately, Shivakumar said the Election Commission, ”without giving a chance for all these things to happen”, should announce the poll dates immediately, and ”stop this large-scale corruption that is happening”.
He also challenged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for a debate on any forum, as he hit out at the latter for calling Congress 200 units of free power promise ”bogus”.
Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah said the BJP has realised that its ”Hindutva tricks” won’t help in this election, as people have become aware. They are now attempting to win elections and come to power by ”spending crores of ill gotten money they have accumulated through loot and corruption”, he said.
He also accused the ruling BJP of trying to protect its MLA Madal Virupakshappa, whose son Prashanth Kumar M V was arrested by Lokayukta for receiving bribes, by not arresting him.
”Madal Virupakshappa is in Bengaluru. He is seeking protection from courts, they are not arresting him….this BJP government is corrupt and it has to be rooted out,” he added.
Assembly polls are due in the state by May.