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Karnataka Election 2018: Amit Shah Cleared Reddy Brothers’ Candidature, Says Yeddyurappa

Will be sworn in on May 17, says BJP CM candidate.

BJP’s Chief Minister candidate in Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa, has told The Indian Express that the Bharatiya Janata Party will form a government in the State. Yeddyurappa even said that he would be sworn in on May 17.

1. Answering questions on the BJP fielding the Reddy brothers, who were embroiled in mining scams in Bellary, Yeddyurappa said the decision came from the chief Amit Shah and there is no negative feeling regarding this.

2. Yeddyurappa said Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his campaign from Chamarajnagar, Mysuru, knowing that it is not a BJP stronghold. “The Chamarajnagar district is important to us. It is a central location and that is why he is launching the campaign from here. If possible, he will back for the second round to Mysuru as well,” he said.

3. To cover more places in the run-up to elections, Yeddyurappa, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union minister Ananth Kumar are holding separate rallies. The CM candidate has not attended any rally with the PM. “This is the wish of the Prime Minister and Amit Shah. They (Party leadership) have asked us not to go in groups,” he said.

4. He said he does not go by surveys, which are predicting a hung assembly. He said, like in Uttar Pradesh, in Karnataka too BJP will get “absolute majority”.

5. He said incumbent CM Siddaramaiah of the Congress is “desperate” and that is why he is alleging that JD(S) and BJP are in a “secret alliance”. This is because he faces tough competition this time, Yeddyurappa said. From Badami where Siddaramaiah is contesting, BJP has fielded tribal leader B Sreeramulu who has much more chances of winning, he said. The reservation for Scheduled Tribes is 15 percent and they have a significant base in Karnataka.

6. On his son Vijayendra’s name being dropped from the party’s candidate list he said, Vijayendra is working for the party at the regional level, and, hence, there is no sense of dissatisfaction.

7. Yeddyurappa said Karnataka’s biggest problem is lack of irrigation projects and that he has promised to provide Rs 1 lakh crore for it and also waive off farm loans (the amount has not been decided yet).

8. The BJP candidate said the election manifesto itself will raise the party’s vote by 3-4 percent.

9. Yeddyurappa said that he will solve the Mahadayi river water issue within six months if voted to power.

10. Congress agreeing for a separate religion for Lingayat and the BJP not supporting it may affect the party’s vote bank, but Yeddyurappa said he will not comment on it.

11. About fielding the Reddy brothers, G Karunakar Reddy, G Somashekhara Reddy who were named in an iron ore mining scam of 2013, Yeddyurappa said, “Some of the Reddy brothers are contesting (who have been acquitted) the polls but we have not given a ticket to Janardhan Reddy (who is still an accused). If they work for the BJP, it will be beneficial for the party. This was the view, and it was accepted by the party leadership,” he said.

12. BS Yeddyurappa became the first BJP CM in Karnataka in 2008. But, after being charged with corruption by the Lokyukta in 2011, he quit. He was jailed for 24 days and let out on bail. He quit BJP and formed his own party soon after, but just before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections the party merged with the BJP.

13. With Janata Dal (Secular), Yeddyurappa has been in good as well as bad terms. He was supported by JD(S) when he was the CM elect in 2008, but later HD Kumaraswamy withdrew his support. There have been floating theories on social media that the parties have a “secret alliance” this time. But Yeddyurappa denied them saying BJP is contesting from all 224 seats.

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