Shah says mandate in Karnataka was anti-Cong

Shah says mandate in Karnataka was anti-Cong

BJP President Amit Shah. DH File Photo

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

"The BJP is the single-largest party in Karnataka, our vote share saw a major increase. The mandate was clearly anti-Congress. What is the Congress celebrating? More than half of their ministers lost, CM lost from one seat. Similarly, why is JD(S) celebrating? For getting 37 seats?" Shah told a press conference in New Delhi.

Thanking the voters of Karnataka for helping the BJP emerge "victorious", he said the party has improved a lot in terms of vote share and seats.

Shah said the mandate was against the Congress and that the JD(S) won from where the BJP was not strong. "There is no confusion that it was an anti-Congress mandate," he said.

When asked whether the BJP will reach out to the Congress-JD(S) MLAs, "I am not an astrologer. Let them come out of five-star hotels where their leaders have kept them captive."

Asked why the BJP went ahead with the government formation, he said, "Why shouldn't we stake claim? Nobody has the majority. Does it mean we should go for a re-election? The mandate is for the single largest party. If we had not staked claim it would have been against the mandate."

Shah said the Congress was celebrating as the BJP had lost nine Lok Sabha by-polls after 2014. "There Congress has not won. We have defeated them in 14 states. Is it the defeat in 14 states larger than defeat in 9 LS seats?" he asked.