Pro-people programmes helped BJP in Karnataka: BSY

The first and only BJP government in south India celebrated its first year in office with much fanfare. Other than the state council of ministers and others, senior BJP leader and MP Ananth Kumar was present, on the occasion.

"BJP won 19 seats in 2009 while in 2004 it Lok Sabha elections it had won only 18 seats and even lost two by-elections getting reduced to 16. Four of our candidates lost four seats in the 2009 elections with a narrow margin," Yeddyurappa said in a statement.

The state government claimed that the percentage of votes polled in favour of the BJP in the parliamentary election this time was 41.72 per cent which was a significant jump from 34.77 per cent votes in 2004.

BJP also won five out of eight assembly seats for which by-polls were held recently.

Claiming that his party was not representative of any one particular community in Karnataka, Yeddyurappa said that of the 19 LS seats won by the party in the state two are scheduled tribes, two scheduled castes, one from Bunt dominated community, two Vokkaligas and one OBC candidate.

The Yeddyurappa government -- which put up several posters of the chief minister in the capital here during the recent elections while the faces of senior party leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani were conspicuous by their absence -- maintained that the stupendous performance of the party in these Lok Sabha polls was an award for for its pro-people programmes of the past one year.

These include loans at 3 per cent interest to farmers, fishermen and weavers, insurance relief to farmers, health insurance schemes, education and employment schemes, and pension schemes for the old, widows and physically challenged. The government claimed more than 1.15 crore families had benefitted from these schemes.

The Karnataka government has also given farm credit to the tune of Rs 3,577 crore to 13.20 lakh farmers in 2008-09.

The chief minister expressed confidence that the newly elected 19 BJP MPs will take up local issues with the Central government.

Yeddyurappa was also confident that with three Congress MPs from Karnataka becoming cabinet ministers at the Centre, the state would get more funds and attention.

The Karnataka government plans to complete several development programmes, including roads, airports and power generation and railway projects.

The power plants at Gundya, Bellary and Raichur will be fully functional soon, said chief minister. The government has also undertaken a power project in Chhattisgarh.

While the airports at Hubli, Belgaum and Mangalore are being upgraded, the ones at Hassan and Bijapur are being developed. Foundation stones have been laid for airports at Shimoga and Gulbarga, he said.

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