Bengaluru: An upbeat ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is targeting two-third majority in the next Karnataka assembly elections, due in early 2023 to ensure its continuity in power, said its state Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday.
“Our target is to secure two-third majority in the next assembly poll by winning about 150 of the 224 constituencies across the state whenever they (elections) are held,” said Yediyurappa after handing over the charge of the party’s state unit president post to Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel at the party’s office in the city’s northwest suburb.
Exhorting the party’s state leaders, legislators and cadres to work hard for ensuring more than absolute majority at the hustings in the next polls, Yediyurappa said for the first time the party was in power at the Centre as well as in the state, which augured well for rapid socio-economic development of the region.
“Though BJP emerged as the single largest party in the May 2018 assembly polls with 104 seats, I resigned for falling 9 short of the halfway mark (2013) for a simple majority in the 225-member lower House,” recalled Yediyurappa, who formed the government in a hurry on May 17, 2018 but resigned two days later on May 19, 2018 as he did not have the numbers to win the confidence motion.
Admitting that the party had to do a balancing act to survive and complete the remaining term of the assembly (45 months), the chief minister said in the 208-member assembly after the previous speaker (K.R. Ramesh Kumar) disqualified 17 rebel legislators of the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), the BJP had 105 lawmakers and support of the lone Independent to have a simple majority in the House.
“In the recent Lok Sabha elections, our party has won 25 of the 28 seats, which is a record in the state. An Independent (Sumalatha) also won with our party support as we did not field our candidate. We have reduced the strength of the Congress and JD-S to one each,” said Yediyurappa.
With each parliamentary constituency having 8-9 assembly seats, the party had polled more votes in 175 of the 224 assembly segments in the 25 Lok Sabha seats.
The party’s high command appointed the three-time Lok Sabha member Kateel from the coastal region as the party’s president under the one-man, one-post norm.
Vowing to strengthen the party under the guidance of senior leaders, Kateel, 53, said he was entrusted with a great responsibility to consolidate the party’s position in the state and ensure absolute majority in the next assembly elections to remain in power.
“I have been given a huge responsibility to strengthen the party by increasing its reach with more membership and presence,” Kateel said on the occasion.