Operation Lotus helped BJP scale high in K'taka: BSY

B S Yeddyurappa

"Operation Lotus has definitely helped. Very important leaders joined our party from JD(S) and Congress at district and state level," Yeddyurappa said during an interaction at his residence.

He cited D B Chandre Gowda, who is now a BJP MP from Bangalore North. Gowda had vacated the Chikamagalur seat for Indira Gandhi in 1978 after she had lost the elections post-emergency in 1977.

Operation Lotus had drawn a lot of flak from Congress and JD(S) as BJP had poached several of their important leaders with promises of ministerial portfolios in the state government as well as Lok Sabha tickets.

The Chief Minister denied that this had caused discontent among BJP leaders who were denied tickets to accommodate the new incumbents.

Though happy with his government's performance in the last one year, Yeddyurappa is concerned about job losses and growing unemployment in his state due to recession.

"Just a year back many wanted to set up industry in Karnataka, but not now," he said.

Yeddyurappa also lashed out at the UPA government saying it had meted step-brotherly treatment to his state when it came to allocation of Central funds.

"Centre has to respond to the state in these times of global recession. The RBI Governor had reviewed the financial position of Karnataka and appreciated our efforts... but compared to our neighbouring states we have not received much from the Centre though I have personally requested the Prime Minister five-six times," he said.

The first BJP chief minister from the south felt that his state should get a special economic package from the Centre.

With three cabinet rank ministers and one Minister of State from the state in the new UPA government, Yeddyurappa is hopeful that the Centre would not neglect Karnataka now.

Having come up to the expectations of the BJP Central leadership by getting 19 MPs, Yeddyurappa said for him ideology of the party came first.

"To continue in government both ideology and governance are important," he said.
Yeddyurappa said though Karnataka is known for encouraging IT, the farmer is still important. "I took the oath of office in the name of the farmer," he emphasised.

However, he is equally concerned about the development of state capital Bangalore.

"We are spending Rs 1,800 crore for Bangalore alone in the coming years," he said.

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