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Most party leaders ‘were with me’, says BJP leader Shanta Kumar

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shanta Kumar has said that most of the party leaders “were with me” on the issue of Vyapam and Sushma Swaraj-Vasundhara Raje episodes.

In an interview to India Today television channel, the former Himachal Pradesh chief minister said three of the BJP ministers actually congratulated him for taking up the issue with BJP party chief Amit Shah, and appreciated that he took up something which they also wanted to speak on but felt scared to.

“Three of the ministers said that you did good work,” he said while terming as “false” the media reports suggesting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to him.

Kumar, who denied reports that Modi had ticked him off for his July 10 letter to the party president, said he has not spoken to the prime minister since writing that letter.

The BJP leader also said the Vyapam scam and allegations against Raje needed to be thoroughly investigated. “I did not ask for resignation (of Raje), it needs to be probed,” he said.

On the BJP, Kumar said, it used to be a party with a difference but now the difference has diminished and eroded.

“When I wrote that letter, and even now, I believe that these incidents (controversies involving Swaraj, Raje and Chouhan) have damaged the image of the BJP,” he said, and added that something should be done to arrest any further damage.

He also emphasised that the BJP “must introspect” on the issue.

On Swaraj, Kumar said if what she told to the BJP parliamentary committee was correct, there was no need for her to resign.

Asked if she should resign, he said he did not know the facts and hence could not comment on the issue.

On his interview to a website in April 2002, in which he had said that if he were Narendra Modi he would have quit after the Gujarat killings, Kumar said he still maintains that view.

“It was an assessment based on my conscious. But in 2014 before the general elections it was I who said that Narendra Modi should lead the party in elections and be made candidate for prime ministership,” he said.

Asked if he felt disappointed at the current state of affairs in the BJP, Kumar said he is a “well-wisher” and wants it to remain “the party with difference”.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

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.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

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.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

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.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)