Bangalore: The imminent split in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka would benefit the opposition Congress in the state assembly polls due early next year to bounce back to power, union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Tuesday.
"With split becoming certain in the ruling BJP, as its former chief minister (B.S. Yeddyurappa) has decided to break away and form a regional party, it will be an advantage to the Congress in the ensuing assembly election," Chidambaram told the party's state leaders and cadres at a meeting here.
The faction-ridden Congress has been out of power in this southern state since 2004 assembly election, as it failed to win majority even in the 2008 assembly poll, paving way for the BJP to form its first government in southern India.
Asserting that the BJP government in the state had no moral authority to continue in office, Chidambaram said the Congress should move a no-confidence motion in the upcoming winter session of the state legislative assembly (due from Dec 5), as the ruling party was in power owing to its 'operation lotus' exercise in luring away lawmakers from other parties.
As the BJP secured only 108 seats in the 225-member assembly in the 2008 state election, it lured over a dozen lawmakers to switch over to its party through by-elections and survive during the last four years.
"You should utilise the golden opportunity of the imminent split in the BJP to bounce back to power in the next assembly election. You should win from all natural constituencies as our party does not belong to one caste but all," Chidambaram exhorted the officer-bearers of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).
The finance minister is a Congress lawmaker from the Sivaganga parliamentary constituency in southern Tamil Nadu.
Noting that there was space in the Congress for all communities, including BCs (backward classes), SCs (scheduled castes), STs (scheduled tribes) and minorities, Chidambaram said the party's state unit should give enough representation even to women candidates in the upcoming assembly poll.
Chidambaram was on a day's visit to this tech hub to chair a meeting of the five southern states and chief executives of state-run banks and financial institutions.
The five southern states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.