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K'taka junks politics of money, caste, religion; harbinger for 2024: Pawar

IANS | May 13, 2023 05:20 PM

MUMBAI: Hailing the Congress sweep to power in Karnataka, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said that the people of the neighbouring state have rejected the politics of money, caste, religion practiced by the Bharatiya Janata Party, here on Saturday.

Speaking to the media, Pawar said that the people of Karnataka have taught a lesson to the divisive politics of BJP and handed over power to the Congress.

"This same trend is likely to be witnessed in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, " predicted Pawar firmly.

He pointed out how the NCP had clearly forecast the exit of BJP from Karnataka as the people are fed up with the politics of 'Khokha' (slang for crores of rupees) pursued by the saffron party.

"Although the BJP was in power there, the entire top brass of the government and senior party leaders had gone there to campaign... We suspected that the money used by them would go against them, and that's what has happened, " Pawar pointed out.

He rued the trend of the BJP grabbing power in a state where it is not elected by breaking the MLAs of other parties, which the masses have disapproved of.

"They did it in Karnataka... they toppled the former government by usurping the MLAs of the previous government to grab power, " said Pawar.

The same happened even in Maharashtra and Goa earlier where the BJP took power in a similar fashion.

"The BJP started this new trend, using the government machinery and its resources... This is a matter of great concern. However, the people do not endorse such politics of money and muscle power. It is evident from the outcome in Karnataka, " declared Pawar.

On the Congress performance, Pawar said that the Congress is on way to getting more than double the BJP's tally.

"It is an indicator that the people of Karnataka had made up their mind to completely defeat the BJP... There was a strong reaction to the blatant misuse of power and official resources, " Pawar said.

He expressed optimism that now the people will teach a lesson to those who amisrule the country and a similar trend will be seen all over India.

With Karnataka slipping out of BJP's control, Pawar said that the saffron party is now wiped out of the entire south India.

"There is no BJP in Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, besides Delhi, Jharkhand, Punjab, West Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan. This is a harbinger of what will happen in the 2024 elections, " asserted Pawar.

The 83-year-old Maratha strongman frowned and said it was a blunder on the part of the BJP to rake up issues like Bajrang Bali which seems to have backfired as now the people have given a befitting reply.

On the NCP contesting against Congress in Karnataka, Pawar clarified that it had put up seven candidates "only to make an entry" in that state - days after the Maharashtra-based outfit lost its 'National Party' status.

"We are not a powerful party in Karnataka, we have elected only one candidate and there's no possibility of a second winner... We needed to enter that state and for that we had to contest, " justified Pawar.

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