Reacting to the denial of tickets to state BJP bigwigs in poll-bound Karnataka, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said at a media conclave here on Saturday that the BJP believes in a continuous process of change.
Shah also underlined that if Congress thinks that it can come to power in Karnataka with the induction of former BJP leader Jagadish Shettar into the party, it is thinking of the impossible.
"Only Shettar has joined the Congress, not our vote bank or the party workers. BJP will retain power with a thumping majority," Shah said.
On denial of tickets to senior state BJP leaders, Shah said that various factors are taken into account before preparing the list of candidates.
"The nominees should not be tainted, they should be respectable candidates. Those who have been denied tickets have been convinced about the party's decision," the Home Minister said.
Shah also clarified that one can't brand all the leaders who were denied tickets as tainted. To accommodate new faces and the new generation, many sitting MLA were not given tickets, he said, adding that the change infused in Karnataka BJP is minimal.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Shettar recently quit the party and joined the Congress after being denied ticket for the May 10 Assembly elections. Former Deputy CM Laxman Savadi has also jumped ship to the Congress for the same reason.
Shah, who arrived in Bengaluru on Friday evening, conducted a marathon meeting of party leaders that continued till 3 a.m. on Saturday, during which he gave them specific tasks to ensure victory of the party. He also advised the party leaders not to be over confident and to shed their negative image.
He also said that the defectors should be taught a lesson in the elections, sources said.