'Bypoll result will impact national politics'

The outcome of the crucial November 3 bypoll to five seats in Karnataka could have an impact on the Assembly elections lined up ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said here on Tuesday.

The bypoll to Bellary, Shimoga, Mandya (Lok Sabha), Jamkhandi and Ramanagara (Assembly) seats are seen as a litmus test for the Congress-JD(S) alliance against the BJP.

The alliance partners have branded their partnership as a precursor to a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ of secular parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“Karnataka politics will define the course of national politics. It won’t be wrong to say that the upcoming bypoll might have an impact on the outcome of the three Assembly elections coming up,” Kumaraswamy told reporters during an interaction.

The ‘Modi wave’ that helped the BJP come to power in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls had faded, Kumaraswamy added. “The 2014 trend doesn’t exist anymore.”

Kumaraswamy lashed out at the BJP for repeatedly claiming that his government was dysfunctional.

He said the government was implementing budget promises, crop loan waiver, creating industrial clusters, addressing problems of Bengaluru, rebuilding flood-hit Kodagu among many other things.  

“I can’t do magic in five months,” he said. “I’ve to take officials into confidence. But if the atmosphere is uncertain and there are reports that the government will fall, how will officials respect me or take me seriously?”

He also defended his frequent visits to temples. “They call it temple run. It’s a family tradition. But that’s not the only thing I’m doing. I also visit Delhi and meet union ministers frequently to get grants for the state.”

Kumaraswamy refuted BJP’s accusation that a ‘transfer racket’ functioned within in government.

“I’m not transferring officials based on payments. There’s no payment seat in my government. I’ve appointed officials based on merit,” he said, referring to transfers of police officials.

“I’ve given the police a free hand to deal with various forms of gambling.”

Asked if he would provide security for women from the state who wish to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kumaraswamy said that would amount to starting
a fight with neighbouring
Kerala.

“I can’t send a special force into Kerala. We’re in a federal system and I can only request my counterpart. I can’t start an India-Pakistan war within the country.”

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'Bypoll result will impact national politics'

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