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Opposition is trying to tarnish my image: Pratibha
July 06, 2007 15:18 IST
UPA-Left presidential nominee Pratibha Patil, facing a barrage of criticism from the opposition, on Friday dismissed the charges against her and said they were an attempt to malign her image.
Addressing the Congress Legislature Party in Karnataka as part of her campaign, she described the opposition's charges against her as attempts to 'tarnish her image'.
The upcoming election to the top post is a 'significant moment' in the country's democratic history.
After 60 years of independence, the highest office in the nation would be held by a woman, Patil said while expressing confidence about her victory.
Expressing gratitude for the support she had been getting across the country, she said her election would be 'a victory for crores of people'.
"I am aware of my responsibilities. I am deeply conscious of the great honour bestowed on me. I will serve with great humility and a deep sense of gratitude if elected," Patil, the first woman nominee for the top post, said in an address lasting less than 10 minutes.
She reminded the Congress legislators of the challenges before the country, including poverty which has to be eradicated.
Patil praised the people of Bangalore, saying their talent and hard work had helped achieve a turnaround in the IT sector.
"Today, Bangalore is the most sought-after destination for MNCs to set up their establishments, including for research and development, and the city is emerging as a super software power," she said.
Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, Union Ministers Oscar Fernandes and K H Muniyappa, CLP leader N Dharam Singh, state party president M Mallikarjun Kharge, MLAs, MLCs and party office bearers were present on the occasion.
Dharam Singh described Patil's nomination as 'a historic decision'.
Kharge assured Patil that she would get more votes from Karnataka as there were 'invisible' voters who would support her.
The Congress has 65 MLAs and four associate members in Karnataka.
The party has also roped in the support of others like like Vatal Nagraj of Kannada Chalauvali Vatal Paksha, S Rajendran of RPI, K Jayaprakash Hegde (independent) and G V Sriramareddy (CPI-M). Two Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi-supported MLAs -- Manohar K Kinekar and Digambar Y Patil -- will also support Patil.
Nagaraj came to the CLP meeting, offered a garland to Patil and declared his support for her.
Patil later met a few independent MLAs and eight JD-S legislators who have identified with former deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah, who has joined the Congress.
Congress sources said Patil would leave for Hyderabad later on Friday.