Patna: The defeat of the BJP in the Bihar assembly elections is certain since the poor, Dalits, OBCs, EBCs and Muslims had decided to vote for the grand alliance of Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress, RJD chief Lalu Prasad said on Tuesday.
“There is no BJP wave in Bihar and its defeat is certain,” Lalu Prasad said at a press conference here.
The RJD chief said people, including the Dalits, Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Classes had identified the BJP as anti-reservation.
“The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has told the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to end reservation for Dalits and OBCs but it was exposed by us,” he said.
He said no one could end reservation till he and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were alive.
“I challenge the RSS, BJP and Modi to deny that RSS ideologue M.S. Golwalkar in his book ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ opposed reservation for Dalits and OBCs. They should burn Golwalkar’s book in public if they strongly favour reservation and are not against it,” the former chief minister said.
Lalu Prasad also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using language, which the RJD leader said, no one expected from the country’s PM.
“Modi has dubbed me a devil and what not,” he said.
The RJD chief said the people of Bihar have this time refused to believe Modi’s word.
Lalu Prasad said over a dozen union ministers were camping in Bihar to misuse money power to influence voters. “The BJP has spent huge money in these elections but money power will not work for the party,” he said.
The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.
Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.
This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.
The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.
The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.
In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.
Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.
Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.
The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.
BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.
There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.
The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.
As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.
BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.
Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.
Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.