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‘NDA will form government with a bigger majority in 2019,’ BJP president Amit Shah tells ET

He said the BJP is the natural choice for people in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections.

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah has said that the National Democratic Alliance will form a government with a bigger majority in 2019 under Narendra Modi’s leadership, reported The Economic Times on Saturday.

“Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are our focus states for 2019,” Shah said in an interview with the newspaper. “We have made rapid strides in the states. In Odisha, we are the main challenger to the Biju Janata Dal.”

He said that the party’s expansion will definitely translate into Lok Sabha seats during the 2019 general elections. “In Manipur and Tripura, we didn’t have a single seat but today we have majority governments there,” he added.

When he was asked whether demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax have led to an economic slowdown, Shah said that it would be inaccurate to describe a “temporary effect as a slowdown” and that “growth will continue to improve”. “Bimal Jalan [former Reserve Bank of India governor] has said that India’s economic situation is the best today in the last 25 years,” the BJP president said.

Shah said the NDA government at the Centre has addressed the three major problems faced by farmers – finding the right price for produce, irrigation and compensation for crop loss during natural disasters.

‘There is a mood for change in Karnataka’

Shah said the party is confident that the BJP will form a government in Karnataka by securing a majority. He said that the efficient way in which the Modi government has functioned at the Centre and the responsive organisation of the BJP will ensure that the party comes to power in Karnataka.

“There is a sense of excitement among people to make the Bharatiya Janata Party form the next government in Karnataka,” he told the newspaper. “The Congress government in Karnataka is discredited and has failed on every front. There’s mood for change in the entire state. Who can bring the change? The BJP is the natural choice for the people.”

Speaking about the party’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP president clarified that all corruption charges against Yeddyurappa had been dropped after due legal process. He added that BJP government across the country under Narendra Modi’s leadership follow certain minimum standards.

“Each chief minister is required to come to the headquarters every three months for a meeting with Modiji and me,” he said. “We have detailed deliberations in those meetings. There are parameters of performance that we have set and all governments have to work within them.”

Shah also clarified that mining baron G Janardhana Reddy was not campaigning on behalf of the party in Karnataka and that his brothers – Karunakara Reddy and Somashekara Reddy – were given tickets “as there were no charges against them.”

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