Bangalore North: BJP leader Karandlaje being ‘controversial’ is plus for me: Cong’s Rajeev Gowda


PTI, Apr 18, 2024, 1:32 PM IST

BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje is known for indulging in communal division and polarisation which people don’t want here, alleges Congress leader M V Rajeev Gowda as he takes on her in Bangalore North constituency in the coming Lok Sabha polls.

People want to enjoy a good quality of life, grow and prosper, and don’t want this area to become communally charged and divided, says the former Professor of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore where he taught economics and policy.

Bangalore North has been a BJP stronghold for a long time, but the chairman of the AICC Research Department appeared upbeat about his electoral prospects. There is no Modi wave in Karnataka this Lok Sabha elections, the 60-year-old claimed.

It’s the five guarantee schemes of the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government delivered within 10 months of coming to power are what is helping people who are in trouble, he said.

Also, the ”sense of injustice to Karnataka (in terms devolution of funds by Centre) and the (dismal) record of the previous BJP government here are what will work in favour of the Congress.” A national spokesperson of the Congress and a former Rajya Sabha member, this is the first time that Gowda is contesting for Lok Sabha elections.

Gowda said he is ”very very” confident of winning as people of his constituency are happy to have an educated and qualified candidate who has already done ”good work” for Bengaluru and Karnataka.

”We are getting very good response from people. Our party is united, our cadre is working unitedly,” claimed Gowda, who had earlier served as Vice-Chairman of Karnataka Policy and Planning Commission.

He said a plus for him in the polls is that Karandlaje — the Udupi-Chikmagalur MP who was shifted to Bangalore North by BJP — is a ”very controversial candidate.” ”She faced ‘go back’ slogans in Udupi-Chikmagalur from her own people….here (Bangalore North) also enough people are not cooperating with her… So basically, people feel like this is not a candidate they want to support,” he claimed.

”They want to switch towards my side. Then there’s another side of people who say look, this lady only causes communal confusion, division and polarisation and are not happy with that. Bengaluru people want to enjoy a good quality of life and grow and prosper. They don’t want this area to become communally charged and divided,” he told PTI in an interview.

Gowda said his chances of winning are very good, noting that out of eight Assembly segments coming under the Lok Sabha constituency, three are with the Congress, one BJP MLA (S T Somashekar representing Yeshwanthpur) is not cooperating with her (Karandlaje) and he is campaigning for him. ”So it’s now four Assembly segments that are in our favour.” ”In Dasarahalli, the previous JD(S) MLA has come and joined the Congress. It has given us a lot of strength. In KR Puram again, a whole bunch of corporators from the BJP have joined us and that also gives us strength. So, overall, we have tremendous momentum in three-fourths of the constituency. We have to figure out how to create similar momentum in the other two smaller seats and we are working on that.. So overall, the campaign is positive and favourable,” he explained.

”Last time, there was a Modi wave but this time there is no such major crisis that causes people to go back to BJP…People are favouring us because we have already delivered. Everyone knows Prime Minister Modi just keeps making announcements and you know, we’re not sure what we’ll actually get from him later on kind of a thing,” he added.

On the BJP-JD(S) electoral alliance, Gowda claimed that the regional party is in its ”last days”.

”Unfortunately for them, they’re going to be swallowed up by the BJP. They’ve made too many compromises along the way and a lot of secular supporters of the JD(S) outreach to the Congress this time so it’s not going to help them at all,” he said.

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