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Mar 31, 2013 at 05:23pm IST

Lok Sabha polls are distant, pass Karnataka elections exam first, Congress tells new BJP team

New Delhi: Congress on Sunday said the newly constituted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) team will have to pass the Karnataka elections exam first. The BJP announced its new Parliamentary Board and as speculated, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was reinducted into the panel after a gap of six years. Among the other new members, who were appointed in the board, were Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi and Modi's close aide and former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah.

"This is BJP's internal matter. Don't want to comment on it. Lok Sabha election is far, this new team has to pass Karnataka elections exam first," said Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi. Karnataka Assembly polls are scheduled for May 5.

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Telecom Minister and Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "BJP is going towards its self-destruction. It cannot resist the pressure to induct Narendra Modi into their team. Now, the fight is between Modi's survival and BJP's survival. Amit Shah, who is facing criminal charges, show the true nature of the BJP. This is Modi's pressure on the BJP to even accommodate Amit Shah".

Buoyed by its good show in Karnataka urban body elections, the Congress will be hoping to come back to power in the state. The party dealt a massive blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by relegating the ruling party to a distant second place. The Congress won three out of seven major city corporations including Bellary, Mangalore and Davanagere; and emerged the single largest party in Mysore and Gulbarga.

The Congress also routed BS Yeddyurappa's Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) and ended the rule of Reddy brothers in Bellary by decimating their BSR Congress across central Karnataka. The BJP was not able to gain majority in any of the seven major city corporations and emerged as the single largest party in only Hubli-Dharwad. JDS come second in Mysore and Belgaum went to Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES). This will be the first big state to vote since Rahul Gandhi's elevation in the Congress as party Vice President.

Among the new Vice Presidents appointed in the BJP board are - Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Smriti Irani and Prabhat Jha. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, however, did not find a place in BJP's Parliamentary Board. Modi is the only serving Chief Minister who has been appointed in the board.