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Home > India > News > PTI

Talks on with Bangarappa: Krishna

April 23, 2008 14:04 IST
Last Updated: April 23, 2008 14:11 IST


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Karnataka Votes

Talks are on with Samajwadi Party leader S Bangarappa for a tie-up in the coming Karnataka Assembly elections in which the issue of price rise can have "some impact", senior Congress leader S M Krishna said on Wednesday.

He, however, said there would be no compromise on Sorab constituency, from where Congress is fielding sitting legislator Kumara Bangarappa, the son of the Samajwadi party leader, who stayed back in the party when his father left.

"This seat is not negotiable. Right from the word go, we were of the view that a sitting MLA should be fielded," he said.

Asked whether Bangarappa has put a condition that Sorab seat should be given to his party, he said, "No, let us be fair to him."

The Samajwadi Party leader has demanded 30 seats, he added.

Noting that efforts of "some well meaning persons" for a tie up with Bangarappa have not worked out so far, he said, "The talks are still on at various levels. We would certainly want to consolidate secular votes."

"But that does not mean that we are desperate (to have a tie up with Bangarappa)," Krishna told reporters in Delhi noting that for "strategic reasons" they have not announced nominees for three seats in Shimoga district, which is considered a stronghold of Bangarappa.

On price rise, the veteran leader said, it could have "some impact" on Congress in the run up to the polls, but with trends showing a dip in inflation, it could provide a "comfort level" for the party.

Development and stability will be the main poll plank of the party, he said, adding Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] and general secretary Rahul Gandhi [Images] will campaign for the party.

"The choice before the people of Karnataka is to choose between a party which has a track record of providing a stable government which can provide development or a loosely-knit coalition where development is totally missing in the agenda of governance," Krishna said.

A coalition government will be "obsessed" with its continuance in power, which will result in development taking a backseat, he said, noting that "developments in the last three years could have given people a lesson."

He said the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver for farmers will be "one of the talking points" of the election and hoped that agriculturists would react "positively".

Krishna, who resigned as Maharashtra governor recently to return to active politics, refused to categorically state that he was not in the race for chief ministership.

"Every party has its own style. Congress has a very Congress-like style. We have left it to the Legislature Party," Krishna, who is not contesting the elections, said.

When asked about reports that some sections in the Congress favour Mallikarjun Kharge for the post, Krishna said, "Leave it to the Congress Legislature Party."

Refuting suggestions that he was "neglected" in the candidate selection, the 76-year-old leader said he was taken into confidence at all levels during the process and was "satisfied" with the two lists released so far.

Asked whether the recent flare up over Hoggenekkal issue could damage the party's prospects in Tamil-dominated areas, he answered in the negative and said the issue will be settled through dialogue between chief ministers of the two states.

On post-poll alliance, Krishna said it would depend on the outcome of the poll results.

Asked about the presence of Bahujan Samaj Party in the state, Krishna said their strength would be put to test in the coming elections.

"BSP's strength is still un-tested in the state. For the first time it will be put to trial," he said.

Asked whether Congress will be in favour of putting a common candidate against BJP's chief ministerial candidate B S Yediyurappa, he said his party will field a candidate against him.

"We would like to work with like-minded people," he added.




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