'Give us another chance to make State No 1'
But there was no dearth of spirited speeches by the State leaders to either attack the UPA government on corruption issue or for seeking votes for their party candidates.
The BJP leaders tried their best to play down corruption charges the party is facing and also infighting witnessed in the recent times. They said they were looking ahead at taking the State to the Number One position in development in the country if given a second term.
The convention, which was attended by thousands of people at the Palace Grounds, marked the culmination of various Vijaya Sankalpa Yatras organised by the party in different parts of the State to motivate its workers ahead of the polls.
BJP National President Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley were to address the convention. Senior party leader L K Advani and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had already announced that they would not be making it to the convention. While the absence of central leaders did take some sheen of the rally, the party tried to make up by hurriedly arranging Singh to address the well-attended rally via video-conference.
Referring to the removal of B S Yeddyurappa as chief minister over allegations of corruption, Singh admitted that the party had to go through adverse situation. “I want to assure the people that anyone indulging in corruption will not remain in his chair,” he said.
He said despite the political hiccups the party had done well in governance and administration.
He listed interest-free loans to farmers, decentralisation of power by empowering panchayats, rural drinking water schemes, infrastructure development as achievements of the BJP during the last five years.
On their part, the State leaders used all available political tool and emotion to woo voters. The leaders including Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Party State President Pralhad Joshi, Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka, National General Secretary Ananth Kumar took digs at the furore over issue of party tickets for the Assembly polls in the State Congress, spoke about the alleged “misdeeds and corruption” plaguing the UPA government and sprinkled their speeches generously by repeated referring to the “achievements” of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Shettar and Ashoka blamed the Congress for stalling the State’s initiative of providing rice at Rs two per kg.
“We had launched the scheme much before the code of conduct came into effect. The Congress played spoilsport by lodging a complaint with the Election Commission. Can such a party ever come to the rescue of the poor,” Shettar asked.