‘We are open to a pre-poll alliance. No party is untouchable’

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YeddyEdited Excerpts from an interview

There is talk that you have approached Congress leaders in New Delhi for a pre-poll alliance with their party, as the BJP is still undecided about whether to take you back. What do you have to say to that?
There is no truth in this.

Will you consider returning to the BJP if the party’s election campaign chief and possible prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi approaches you?
As of now, my priority is to strengthen the KJP. Perhaps I need to review this question at the appropriate time, which I think could be in September.

What is holding you back from rejoining the BJP?
When our main concern is to strengthen the KJP, this question does not arise.

Is there a chance that you will eventually merge the KJP with the BJP? Or will you rather go in for a pre-poll alliance ahead of the 2014 General Election?
We are definitely open to the option of a pre-poll alliance with a like-minded party. No party is untouchable.

What are your reasons for supporting the JD(S) in the Lok Sabha bypolls for the Mandya and Bangalore Rural seats?
I have not aligned with them. Our local party leaders have taken a realistic decision after due consideration of the local political situation.

Are your party’s five legislators ready to go along with you in case you decide to join the BJP or have an alliance with the Congress?
Though the KJP’s state executive committee has placed its full faith in me to take a call on the alliance issue, I will consult all our MLAs and other senior party leaders before finalising any decision. All our MLAs are with me and I stand by their views.

What is your assessment of the 100 days of Congress rule in the state?
Their overall performance is very poor. Developmental activities are at a standstill. More than Rs 3,000 crore worth of pending bills of various departments are yet to be cleared. The government seems to be more interested in publicity than performance.

How do you read the political situation in the state in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls?
The political situation is perplexing. But whatever may be the state of affairs, the KJP is going to play a vital role in the General Election.

What is your assessment of the UPA-2, Modi as BJP’s star campaigner and prospects of the Third Front playing a role in the formation of the next government?
Certainly, the people of our country are disappointed with UPA-2 and looking for a vibrant leader who can transform the country’s fortunes. There is definitely a wide scope for the Third Front in this situation.

imran@tehelka.com

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