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BJP in "very bad shape" in Karnataka, Congress will win nearly 20 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in State: DK Shivakumar

New Delhi: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who scripted a thumping win for the Congress in last year's Assembly elections, is optimistic that his party will win at least 20 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the State in the upcoming general elections.

The Congress leader, who is referred to as DKS has also claimed that JDS-BJP alliance is "not working well" in the state.

In the 2019 general election, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 26 of the 28 seats in the state. The Congress and JD(S), which were running a coalition government back then and fought the elections together, secured one seat each. It was a dismal performance for the Congress in the 2019 general election compared to the 9 seats it had won in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

However, the party under the DKS leadership swept up 135 of the 224 seats in the Karnataka Assembly polls in 2023.

In an exclusive conversation with ANI, the Congress leader who is the current president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) said, "See, we work collectively. In the last three years, I have had the opportunity to be president. Now it is the fourth year. So, all of them cooperated. I believe in the collective leadership that we showed. Whatever we had, we still thought the party had to come to power."

"Now, as far as Parliament (elections) are concerned, we are still hoping...," Shivakumar said.

"We wanted a lot of our ministers to contest. But all of them wanted to stay in state politics. Now, I am still hoping that we will get nearly 20 seats," the veteran Congress leader said.

Asked about an apparent 'Modi wave' and the reluctuance of Karnataka Congress ministers to fight parliament elections, DKS said "It is not like that. As far as Karnataka is concerned, any wave will not work. The Bharatiya Janata Party is crumbling. You know how many MPs--almost 10 MPs--could not get tickets. There was a lot of anti-incumbency."

The BJP, he said, is in "very bad shape" in Karnataka.

"They (the BJP) have changed and shifted the MPs and ministers. So, I think, compared to other parts of the country, the BJP is in very bad shape in Karnataka," claimed Shivakumar.

Referring to a statement by the former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, Shivakumar said, "You see the statement of Mr Kumaraswamy yesterday has not been taken well. He has come out openly. All these things are there. Their alliance is not working well. People will not accept that alliance."

Shivakumar reiterated his confidence in the people's mandate for the Congress party.

"I am confident that with the way we look at local issues, we look at the local problems, When we do hard work, we have to look at the people's wishes, the problem of the people. Then they should have confidence on us. That is why they vote us. Otherwise, it will not happen."

Voting for Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka will take place in two phases on April 26 and May 7.

In 2019, the BJP won 25 seats with a vote share of 51.7 per cent. Congress won 1 seat with a 32.1 per cent vote share, while JD(S) and Independent won one seat each in Karnataka.

The general election for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases starting April 19, with counting to be held on June 4. Karnataka has a total of 28 Lok Sabha constituencies, including five seats reserved for SC candidates and two for ST candidates. Voting across all seats in Karnataka will be held in the second and third phases of the elections on April 26 and May 7 respectively. 

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