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Bangarappa lavishes praise on Vajpayee

March 02, 2004 18:51 IST

Karnataka Congress leader and S Bangarappa on Tuesday praised Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The former chief minister also attacked the Congress party giving strong indications of his intention to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

At a public meeting Bangarappa held a lotus flower, BJP symbol, in his hand and asked the people to strengthen it, leaving no one in doubt about his next move.

Sources close to Bangarappa said he was expected to formally announce his decision to join the BJP in Delhi on Wednesday and join the party in the presence of Vajpayee.

Attacking the Congress as a 'sinking ship', Bangarappa said its president Sonia Gandhi could not lead the country.

The BJP had changed considerably and it was not an 'untouchable party', Bangarappa said, even as he showered praise on the leadership of Vajpayee, describing him as the 'best leader' in the world.

He said Vajpayee had not only improved Indo-Pak relations, paving the way for cricket tour of Pakistan, but also developed confidence among Muslims and other minorities.

The BJP would help the minorities more than the Congress did in the past, he said.

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