As the campaign for Assembly polls in Karnataka gains momentum, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily has said every single seat will witness a tough fight among the three parties in the fray and ruled out his party entering into any post-poll alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular).
Moily also targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for fielding the elder brother of tainted mining baron G Janardhan Reddy from a seat in Bellari and said this showed that the main opposition party in Karnataka is in an “uncomfortable position”.
Elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly are due to be held on 12 May. The results for the same would be declared on May 15
The ruling Congress in Karnataka has announced a list of 218 candidates and it is still in the process of finalising candidates for the remaining six constituencies — Sindagi, Kittur, Nagthana, Melukote, Raichur and Shantinagar.
“Nothing is easy in an election. Election and war are one and the same. It has to be fought. While we are confident of winning, we have to fight for every MLA seat,” Moily told PTI in an interview in New Delhi.
Exuding confidence that the Congress will get a “comfortable majority”, he said there is no question of seeking support from the JD(S), claiming that the ruling party has performed very well in the last five years and there is no anti-incumbency that could hurt its poll prospects.
In 2004, the Congress had joined hands with the JD(S) to form a coalition government that lasted only 20 months.
Asserting that the Congress is in a much better situation in the state unlike the BJP, Moily — a former Karnataka chief minister — said “money power and fanaticism of BJP” will not work in the state.
“Also, there is no Modi wave. Prime minister Narendra Modi has lost all credibility. Whatever he has said, everyone knows, it was election jumla,” he said and claimed that Modi’s image has “tumbled terribly” which will be “very much visible” during the election campaign.
Moily, the two-time MP from Chikballapur, further claimed that even BJP’s chief ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa’s image has been dented and it has not improved.
Moreover, the BJP has further polluted the political atmosphere in the state by fielding G Janardhan Reddy’s elder brother Somashekar Reddy from Bellari city, he said, claiming this showed how the opposition party was in an “uncomfortable” position to regain power.
Asked if the tweet row forced him not to seek a ticket for his son Harsha Moily from Karkala constituency in Udupi, he said, “We have disowned the tweet. Moreover, we are not comfortable in that constituency. We are supporting a candidate from the barber community.”
Recently, Moily had landed in a controversy over a tweet about “money in politics” in selection of candidates for the Assembly polls in Karnataka, leaving the party in a spot before he deleted it.
On the six candidates yet to be announced, Moily said the party has promised to give Swaraj India party candidate and late MLA K S Puttannaiah’s son Darshan, a ticket to contest from Melkote in Mysuru district.
In case of Bengaluru’s Shantinagar contituency, Moily said the incumbent MLA NA Haris, whose son was arrested recently in an assault case, is a winning candidate. “We are still weighing whether to give a ticket to him or not.”
For Raichur, former MLA Syed Yasin is a strong contender, but he is unwell and cannot walk. “We are thinking of replacing him,” he said.
The party is in the process of finalising a candidate for Nagthana constituency in Vijayapura district, where the sitting MLA Raju Alagur is not keen to contest the election due to personal reasons.
Congress is also considering other names for Kittur constituency in Belgaum district instead of sitting MLA D B Inamdar, he added.