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Kesri humiliates Bangarappa

Humiliated by Congress president Sitaram Kesri, former Karnataka chief minister S Bangarappa is likely to float a new political party in the next couple of months.

The maverick leader, who had been in and out of various parties in the last three decades, expected a mid-term election early next year, sources close to him said.

Bangarappa, who returned to Bangalore from Delhi after a meeting with Kesri, is currently holding discussions with his followers to chalk out his future course of action.

Bangarappa, the sources said, was deeply hurt as Kesri had not not kept his promise to treat the former's erstwhile Karnataka Congress Party honourably after its merger with the Congress last December. The sources said Kesri did not hand over the state unit to Bangarappa as promised.

The merger was effected at Kesri's behest. Kesri was keen to bring back Congressmen who had left the party during P V Narasimha Rao's tenure.

Bangarappa is now sure that an attempt is being made to marginalise him and his followers in the party, the sources said.

Following this, Bangarappa had a long meeting with Kesri at Delhi on September 18, when he reportedly gave a 15-day ultimatum to the party president to set right things. As there was no response from Kesri, Bangarappa was left with no other alternative but to part ways with the Congress, the sources said.

Bangarappa, who began his political career from Shimoga district as a protege of socialist leader Gopal Gowda in the early sixties, entered the Karnataka assembly from his home constituency of Sorab in 1967.

He joined the Congress in 1977 and left the party and floated the Kranti Ranga following differences with then chief minister R Gundu Rao. Later, he merged the Kranti Ranga with the Janata Party which came to power in the state in 1983.

Bangarappa rejoined the Congress in 1989, when the party won a landslide victory in the assembly elections. He became the chief minister a year later, when Veerendra Patil fell ill.

Bangarappa, however, fell out with Narasimha Rao and lost his job in 1992. He then floated the Karnataka Congress Party which merged with the Congress last December.


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