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JD(S) unlikely to support Yediyurappa govt: KC Venugopal

"Karnataka is suffering under the poor governance of chief minister BS Yediyurappa and (due to) corruption. People are disappointed with the government's handling of the flood situation. People are in distress, but the BJP is indulging in immoral politics and destroying democracy," said AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka affairs KC Venugopal.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 25, 2019, 11.15 AM IST
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KC Venugopal
Amid reports that sections of Congress MLAs are in touch with the BJP, the AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka affairs KC Venugopal tells ET’s KR Balasubramanyam that his party is intact, and disqualified MLAs are having a tough time. Edited excerpts:

How is your party’s fight with the BJP playing out?
The people who are contesting on a BJP ticket are the ones who cheated the Congress and went to the BJP. The BJP is now openly offering them Cabinet positions. The BJP is misusing its money power and the agencies of the government of India to silence its rivals. As I can see, the BJP's immoral politics is on full display in Karnataka, and they are repeating the same now in Maharashtra. People are closely watching all this. I don't think they will vote for candidates who defected to the BJP without their consent only for the sake of money and power. They will teach them a lesson.

What are the main campaign issues you are focusing on?
Karnataka is suffering under the poor governance of chief minister BS Yediyurappa and (due to) corruption. People are disappointed with the government's handling of the flood situation. People are in distress, but the BJP is indulging in immoral politics and destroying democracy. It is pumping money heavily into the byelections to win at any cost. They lured our MLAs with money and are trying to attempt the same with voters. But I am sure voters will not fall for that. They are intelligent. They know how to deal with defectors.

BJP’s Ramesh Jharkiholi has said 35 Congress MLAs are in touch with him and he can pull them anytime he wants…
He is making a bogus claim. I can’t take him seriously. He himself is set to lose. His own brothers in the Congress are giving him a tough fight (in Gokak, Belagavi district). All disqualified MLAs will learn a lesson this time. The Congress is intact and no MLA is leaving us.

How many seats do you think the Congress will win?
We will win in all the seats. There is, of course, serious fight in a couple of seats.

Will the BJP regime fall post byelection results?
Our position has always been that this is an illegitimate government. It has no moral right to continue. Let us wait till the results.

There are reports that former CM Siddaramaiah is not getting enough support from senior leaders, and has become a loner in the election campaigning…
That is not true. Everyone is campaigning. All senior leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Veerappa Moily, G Parameshwara and DK Shivakumar are campaigning. I have had a meeting, and all of them will be actively participating in campaign activities.

JD(S) bosses have said there is no threat to the BJP government. If it falls short of numbers, they will bail it out…
I don't think the JD(S) will support the BJP government. The party leaders have already gone on record saying these defectors have to be defeated. They are also working towards that.

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