Bengaluru: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Thursday predicted that his party will win more than 130 of the 224 constituencies in Karnataka —higher than the 113 needed for a simple majority but short of the 150 targeted by his party.

“We will win 130-plus seats," Shah said in the party’s last press conference before the 12 May polls.

Unwilling to concede that the party had downsized its earlier estimates, Shah said more than 130 could also be 150.

With the elections just ahead, Shah’s estimates are closer to reality than what the party had originally hoped for in the build-up to the polls since mid-last year. The BJP had set itself a target of a record 150-plus seats (Mission 150).

All the three main political parties in the state are confident of crossing the halfway mark of 112 on their own and have ruled out any post-poll alliance. But with most poll surveys indicating a fractured verdict on 15 May, the possibility of alliances has increased in Karnataka, where no government since 1985 has been voted back.

Shah made similar predictions ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat and Tripura. In Gujarat, Shah said the BJP would win 150 seats but the party had to settle for 99, one of its lowest tallies in the recent elections in the state, even though it went on to form the government.

Ahead of the Tripura elections, Shah said the party would get full majority but did not give a number. The BJP formed government in the state after winning 35 of the 60 seats in the assembly.

This time around, Shah said he was not just confident that his party would get a majority but also that it would not repeat its 2008-13 record when the state saw three chief ministers and a long list of corruption allegations including the illegal iron ore mining scam.

“Yeddyurappa will be the chief minister for the entire term," Shah said. He added that the BJP government in Karnataka fell because at the centre there was a government that was pulling others down. “This time we will stand behind the government like a rock," he said, leaving no room for speculation that the party was sidelining B. S. Yeddyurappa, its tallest leader in the state, whose exit before the 2013 elections had reduced the party from 110 seats in 2008 to 40 in 2013.

“He (chief minister Siddaramaiah) will lose by a larger margin in Badami than in Chamundeshwari," Shah said of Siddaramaiah’s two constituencies.

The BJP, which has made alleged corruption in the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government its central focus, was at the receiving end as its CM candidate (Yeddyurappa) and many other candidates it has fielded have faced similar charges in the past. “I have no hesitation in saying that this is the worst and most inept government in the history of this country," Shah said.

He pointed to the crumbling infrastructure in Bengaluru and said it was left in the hands of the three people, a reference to K.J.George, Roshan Baig and N.A.Haris, all Congress legislators.

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