Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, who arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit to Karnataka, claimed that the party would return to power after assembly elections in early 2018.
Addressing about 500 party members and its state unit leaders outside the airport on arrival from New Delhi, Shah said: “I have come here with a firm will to bring the BJP back to power in the state. I can sense the mood of the people to give our party an opportunity again to serve them.”
Wearing the popular ‘Mysore Peta’ (headgear) and sporting a saffron shawl, Shah said the party would strive to win at least 150 seats in the 225-member assembly to form the next government.
“It will be a BJP government this time to free the people from the corrupt and incompetent Congress government in the state. We will make Karnataka also a Congress-free state, as we did in other states,” he said.
The BJP formed its first government in the southern state after winning a simple majority in the 2008 assembly election and was in power for five years with three chief ministers, but lost to the Congress in the 2013 poll.
Federal ministers D V Sadanada Gowda and Ananth Kumar, party’s state unit president B S Yeddyurappa, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and other leaders received Shah and accompanied him to the party’s office in the city.
“Though Shah is visiting Karnataka as part of his 110-day nationwide tour to strengthen the party’s presence, he will have a firsthand account of the political situation in the state and draw plans for the upcoming assembly poll,” a party official said.
Earlier in the day, Shah said he has invited the Janata Dal-United, the party’s new alliance partner in Bihar, to rejoin the National Democratic Alliance.
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