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Jolt to those who called BJP North Indian party: PM Modi after Karnataka verdict

As BJP emerged to be the single-largest party in the heavily-contested Karnataka polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the party’s victory, even though it fell short of simple majority.

Describing the BJP’s win in Karnataka as “extraordinary”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he was overwhelmed by the love and affection he got from the people of the state and that language proved to be no barrier.

“A perception has been created that BJP is a north-India party, a party of Hindi-speaking people. Gujarat isn’t Hindi-speaking, nor is Maharashtra, Goa Assam or the Northeast. The people of Karnataka have given a jolt to the people who have spread a negative perception about the BJP,” PM Modi told BJP supporters at the party headquarters in Delhi.

Addressing a gathering of party workers at BJP’s central headquarters here, Modi said people of Karnataka have given a jolt to those with such “distorted thinking”. But the BJP, he asserted, is a party spread in each corner of the country, and dedicated to resolve problems of every region. He said the country will now move shoulder to shoulder with Karnataka on its path of development, and that the BJP will never let development of Karnataka be affected.

Without naming the Congress, the Prime Minister attacked the party for what he called creating a “north-south divide” and stoking tension between the state and the centre.

The remarks comes against the backdrop of controversial moves by the Congress government in Karnataka like having a separate state flag and a proposal to give religious minority status to Lingayats, who have traditionally seen as BJP supporters.

The PM also extended condolences to families of the deceased in Varanasi accident in which an under-construction collapsed, leaving at least 16 people dead. “I am happy with the Karnataka victory but I am saddened by the loss of lives in Varanasi,” he said.