Rejecting the claims that the Gujarat poll result will be an indicator of electoral outcome in Karnataka, which will go to polls by April-May next year, Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said local issues dominate these elections.
The Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly also accused neighbouring Maharashtra of raking up the border dispute for political reasons, and felt that Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai should have called an all party meeting to discuss the issue by now.
”Let’s see when the results are out on December 8. Some channels are projecting Congress ahead in Himachal Pradesh, while others are saying it is BJP, and that there is a stiff competition.
In Gujarat they are saying BJP is ahead, let the results come. In any election we will have to accept the mandate of the people,” Siddaramaiah said, reacting to the exit poll results.
Siddaramaiah says he & his party leaders will retire from politics, if they fail to fulfill poll promises
Speaking to reporters here, he however rejected the claims that the Gujarat poll result will be an indicator of what might be the electoral outcome in Karnataka, and asked why not Punjab election results, in which BJP did not win.
”There is no connection between elections in one state with another, as local issues, administration, and feelings of the people differ. In Parliament elections it is different game, as national issues dominate there. In assembly polls issues of particular states are important,” he added.
With exit polls favouring the BJP retaining power in Gujarat, Bommai earlier today exuded confidence that the ”pro-incumbency mandate” is likely in this poll-bound southern state.
Exit polls on Monday predicted a big majority for the BJP in Gujarat and a dead heat in Himachal Pradesh, where most pollsters gave an edge to the ruling party over the Congress.
The counting of votes in both states will take place on December 8. Elections for the Himachal Pradesh assembly took place on November 12, while polling in Gujarat happened in two phases on December 1 and 5.
Regarding the border issue, the former Chief Minister said, Maharashtra is keeping the dispute alive for the sake of politics and the issue is well settled with the Mahajan report (1967), which is final.
”… if they (Maharashtra) don’t accept that report, is it not unruly? We should not get afraid of such things and fight it out. We have to face the case in the court with the assistance of eminent advocates,” he said.
Siddaramaiah said, the Chief Minister should have called an all party meeting by now to discuss the issue, but has not called. ”The issue of jurisdiction and maintainability of the case has come before the Supreme Court for hearing,” he added.
The border dispute dates back to 1957 after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines. Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi, which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency as it has a sizable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to 814 Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.