Cong is main rival, not soft on JD(S), says BJP



Bangalore: State BJP chief Prahlad Joshi on Thursday dismissed suggestions that his party is soft on the JD-S with an eye on post-poll tie-up with the H D Deve Gowda-led outfit but asserted that the Congress would be the main rival in the May five Assembly elections.

"Our (main) competitor is Congress party. That's why we are attacking Congress", Joshi told reporters when asked if his party is being soft on JDS and has kept the option of joining forces with it in the post-poll scenario.

"Wherever JD-S is our nearest rival,our party and all of us have to appropriately attack (JDS); we are doing it", he said.

When it was pointed out that BJP was soft on JD-S even in Old Mysore region (consisting of districts such as Mysore and Mandya) where the latter has a strong base, Joshi sought to draw the attention to the statements (made against JDS) of BJP national vice-president and former chief minister Sadananda Gowda.

He argued that it does not make sense to attack JD-S in areas where it has no base and is not a serious contender.

In the 2008 elections to the 224-member Assembly, BJP bagged 110 seats, followed by Congress 80, JDS 28 and independents six.

Despite denials, it has not gone unnoticed during campaigning that BJP has largely targetted Congress, while JD-S has chosen the same party to attack, giving an impression in some quarters that the two parties might be positioning themselves to join hands if numbers stack up in their favour after the elections.

Meanwhile, Joshi said the BJP would get simple majority in the coming elections. Despite "political challenges" for the party and government during the last five years, the BJP rule was marked by lot of development works, he said.

He dismissed as "misinformation campaign" the charges in some quarters he is a "puppet" of senior party leader H N Ananth Kumar and a "rubber-stamp" of RSS. While he is proud he has an RSS background, he stressed he had always been in the forefront of party-sponsored pro-people agitations and that he had won his Lok Sabha seat with a huge margin.

PTI