BJP Chief Amit Shah On How Karnataka BJP Would've Arranged More Seats In 15 Days

BJP Chief Amit Shah On How Karnataka BJP Would

New Delhi: Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa could have been able to prove majority if he had a fortnight to face the test of strength. Because, BJP president Amit Shah said on Saturday, many legislators of the Janata Dal Secular legislators would have sensed the public mood in their constituencies against the "unholy" alliance with the Congress and supported the BJP government on their own.

Mr Shah rebutted the Congress-JDS accusation that it had been trying to lure their legislators with bribes running into crores of rupees. If this had been true, the party would have managed to reach the majority mark, Mr Shah said at the India TV Conclave in the national capital.

"Had we got the 15-day period to prove our majority, their party MLAs would have gone to their constituencies and they would have changed their mind," Mr Shah said, according to a statement by television channel India TV. But they were locked away by their parties in hotels and elsewhere, he said.

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Leaders of the Congress-JDA combine say they had to shield their legislators from pressure plied by the BJP to engineer defections.

Over the last two days, the Congress has backed up its allegation with audio tapes, of what it claimed, were a recording of phone calls received from BJP leaders including Janardhan Reddy, the scam-tainted mining baron from Ballari.

HD Kumaraswamy, who was invited by the governor to become chief minister on Saturday evening, had earlier alleged some of his party's lawmakers had received offers of Rs. 100 crores in cash and ministerial berths in exchange for their support.

Amit Shah, considered the BJP's master strategist, also denied that the BJP would try to pull down the alliance government.

He, however, predicted that the government would not last long due to internal pressure that would pull it in different directions.

"You just wait for one year," he said, prophesising a major victory for the BJP in the next elections held in the state.

"Such a government will not last long in the state. Congress leaders have themselves not accepted their alliance with JDS," said Mr Shah, whose party has been accused for trying to bribe or arm-twist legislators into supporting Mr Yeddyurappa.

The Congress, which ended up with 78 seats in the Karnataka assembly elections, had teamed up with the rival JDS, to keep the BJP out of power. The BJP, which secured 104 seats in the state assembly, is the single largest party in the assembly but is still some distance away from the majority mark of 111 seats. It nevertheless picked up an invite from governor Vajubhai Vala on Thursday and was given 15 days to prove its majority.

Sensing that the BJP would attempt to poach its lawmakers, the Congress and the JDS had promptly sequestered its legislators, initially in Karnataka and after Mr Yeddyurappa became chief minister, in Telangana capital Hyderabad.


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