New Delhi: With the BJP set to emerge as the single largest party in Karnataka, its leaders described today’s Assembly poll results in the southern state as an endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development agenda and claimed that the people had rejected the divisive, toxic and negative politics of the Congress. According to Election Commission (EC) figures at 4.30 pm, the BJP had won 81 seats and was leading in 23 segments, well on course to emerge as the single largest party in Karnataka. The ruling Congress had won 50 seats and was leading in 28 constituencies.
Buoyed by the emerging picture, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took a swipe at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, saying someone was dreaming of becoming the prime minister, a reference to Gandhi’s statement during the poll campaign that he was ready for the top post if his party won the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Prasad’s cabinet colleague, Nirmala Sitharaman, said it was a historic day for the BJP and the results were an endorsement of Modi’s development agenda. The people had rejected the divisive, toxic and negative politics of the Congress, she added.
Another Union minister, Nitin Gadkari, hailed the BJP’s performance in the southern state and said the results and trends virtually proved that the saffron party’s “Congress-free India” slogan was turning out to be true. “We had been talking about a Congress-free India. The Karnataka poll results are virtually proving that. The Congress is not in power in any of the key states, barring Punjab. The condition of the Congress is such that it is opposing (the BJP) for the sake of opposing,” he added.
Stating that the poll results underlined the faith of the people in Modi’s leadership and the BJP’s ideology, Gadkari exuded confidence that the party would retain power at the Centre after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The former BJP president said the Congress was on the verge of collapsing, with its stature reduced to that of a regional party, and that Rahul Gandhi was relentlessly working to realise the wish of Mahatma Gandhi to get it dissolved. “The Congress is on the verge of a collapse. I feel Rahul Gandhi is working to realise the wish of Mahatma Gandhi that the Congress party should be dissolved…Under his leadership, the party is headed towards that direction,” he said.