Amit Shah defends bid to form govt

Amit Shah defends bid to form govt

BJP party president Amit Shah addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Describing the Congress-JD(S) combine as an “unholy alliance”, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday defended his party’s aborted attempt to form the government in Karnataka, saying the saffron party had the people’s mandate.

Rubbishing allegations that they were indulging in horse-trading, Shah asked whether the Congress was celebrating the verdict as a victory when it had lost so many seats. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah himself was defeated in one seat, he said.

The combative response from the party chief came two days after B S Yeddyurappa resigned within 55 hours from the post of the chief minister after the BJP failed to woo MLAs from the Congress and the JD(S) to cobble up a majority. It was seen as an attempt to send a message to party cadre that the BJP would fight back.

Asserting that it was an anti-Congress mandate, Shah told a press conference: “The BJP has emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka. Our vote share saw a major increase, our seats were increased. The mandate was clearly anti-Congress and there is no confusion in the nature of the mandate. What is the Congress celebrating? More than half of their ministers lost. The chief minister lost from one seat. Similarly, why is the JD(S) celebrating? For getting 37 seats?”