BJP confident of victory: Harikrishna Bantwal

District BJP spokesperson Harikrishna Bantwal on Tuesday said that JD(S)-Congress candidate Mithun Rai is no match for BJP candidate Nalin Kumar Kateel. 

“Rai’s dreams of winning the elections is like the dream of a thiruka (vagabond),” Bantwal stressed while addressing mediapersons at the BJP election party office.

He said in the previous 16th Lok Sabha polls, veteran Congress Leader B Janardhana Poojary, though being a strong candidate, lost to Kateel by a margin of over 1.43 lakh votes. In 2014, the trend with Congress winning seven out of the eight Assembly constituencies seemed to favour Congress, he remarked.

Two lakh votes

“BJP has no apprehensions and it is confident that its candidate will win the elections by a margin of two lakh votes,” Bantwal predicted.

He said the first door-to-door campaign by 11,500 Shakti Kendras, including 425 in the district was completed on April 7. The second campaign will be held on April 14. Because of these two campaigns, Congress and JD(S) will be reduced to single digit post-elections, he said.

He said neither JD(S) leader Madhu Bangarappa nor Congress have any moral rights to speak on behalf of the Billava community.

When the community’s biggest leader Janardhana Pooary was prevented from organising press conferences in old Congress Committee hall and banned from entering the new Congress Bhavan, none of them had come to the rescue of Poojary. “Now, those who speak of Billava community, being sidelined by BJP, should hang their heads in shame,” he said tersely.

Bantwal clarified that the Billavas, inspired by the mythological heroes Koti Chennaiah, have a nationalistic outlook.

“It is this nationalistic outlook which prompted many Billava leaders to join BJP,’’ Bantwal, who also hails from the Billava community, stressed.

Majority and minority

Responding to the charges of Congress, he said BJP does not differentiate between majority and minorities.

“If Modi was anti-Muslim, how could he have been awarded ‘Zayed Medal-United Arab Emirates’, the highest civilian award? Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj was also invited to the meeting Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers,” he said.

Bantwal also pointed out that the toll collection on the highways has become operational as Karnataka government has certified that 90% of the highway widening works have been completed. 

He also offered to resign from his post if it is proved that Modi has offered to deposit Rs 15 lakh each in the bank accounts of people. “What he said was that the black money stashed in the accounts of foreign banks if returned to India would amount to Rs 15 lakh in each account,” he clarified.

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BJP confident of victory: Harikrishna Bantwal

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