Date: 
08.03.2017

Former prime minister and JDS chief H D Deve Gowda today said regional parties do not have the strength to stop BJP's political growth as they lack unity.

He also said if BJP manages to win Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on its own, the party will next focus on southern India, starting from Karnataka. "The point is today, what next? There is no oppositionin Parliament, Congress is not a recognised oppositionparty... The political situation in the country today is- BJPis strongly progressing," he told reporters here.

"If at all on March 11 BJP comes to power on its own (in Uttar Pradesh), the regional parties as of todaydon't have the strength to stop BJP," Gowda said. "I don't know what willhappen in the future; at present there is no unity amongregional parties," he said.

Gowda was interacting with mediapersons after receivingthe Press Club of Bangalore's 'Man of the Year' award here. He said BJP has already made some headway in Kerala and also increased their vote share in Tamil Nadu.

"In Karnataka, which they say is their gateway for the south, the gate isslightly shut right now. They will use their full force to open it completely," Gowda said.

"Their entire focus will turn towards Karnataka, to come to power once again in the state," he added. Assembly polls in Karnataka are likely to take place in early 2018. Gowda said BJP is a strong party with 282 seats in the Lok Sabha and it was in a position where none could try to destabilise it.

"The role of a regional party is in a difficultsituation. To what extent they will try to rise to the occasion to protect democratic system is to be seen," he said.

Gowda said Narendra Modi was first projected forthe Prime Minister's post by "corporate houses and both RSS and BJP only consented to it at the later stages".

BJP is today run only by "twinbrothers" - Prime Minister Modi and Party President Amit Shah - and others do not have any role there, he claimed.

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