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BJP govt in K'taka has no moral right to continue: Chidambaram

Bangalore, Nov 20, 2012 (PTI) 19:50 IST
Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram being greeted by Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar during the finance minister's meeting with chief ministers of Southern states in Bengaluru on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak
BJP government in Karnataka has no moral authority to continue in office, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said and asked Congressmen to work for their party's return to power.

"BJP government does not have any moral authority to remain in power. It is remaining in office because of 'Operation Lotus' and nobody is moving a no-confidence motion against the government. I do not want to elaborate much on it," he said here.

BJP, which formed its first ever government in the south four years ago, had launched 'Operation Lotus' in the first year of its rule to gain a strong majority by wooing opposition MLAs to resign from their parties and the assembly and seek re-election on the saffron party ticket.

Addressing Congress office-bearers at Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office, Chidambaram said the best opportunity for Congress to come back to power in Karnataka was when "the BJP is splitting".

"The BJP is splitting. Even today I have been told that (rebel party leader) B S Yeddyurappa is launching his party in December," he said referring to the former chief minister's resolve to break away from BJP and float his own party.

He said Congress should support and protect its natural constituency of neglected sections which would help the party to come back to power in the state.

"Congress must support and protect its natural constituency of OBCs, SCs, STs, minorities, women and youth. This was Indira Gandhi's message. Once we send out this message, there will be no power on earth which can stop Congress from coming back to power in Karnataka," he said.

Chidamabram said the party cannot abandon its natural constituency to other parties. "We are not a caste-based and religion-based party. We are the party which represents the entire colour of the society," he said.

He said he did not know when elections would take place in Karnataka, but urged Congress leaders to prepare for it.

Congress should not believe opposition's prediction that Lok Sabha elections would take place before May, 2014, he added.

Chidambaram urged KPCC President G Parameshwar and other Congress leaders to pay more attention on issues of sharing power and providing financial help to the neglected sections.
The credit flow to weaker sections of the society in Karnataka was reasonably good, but "not so in the case of minorities," he said.

"The credit flow to minorities is not good. As against an all India average of 13.87 per cent, it is about 7.5 per cent in Karnataka. You (Congress leaders) must make sure that the credit flow goes to the minorities. I think we will pay attention to it," he added.

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