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Bangarappa quits SP, plans to join the Congress

February 12, 2009 16:29 IST

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Samajwadi Party Member of Parliament and former Karnataka chief minister S Bangarappa on Thursday resigned from the Lok Sabha as well as the party and announced his plans to join the Congress.

"I have resigned from my Shimoga Lok Sabha seat as well as from the Samajwadi Party. I submitted my resignation to the Speaker and he has accepted it," Bangarappa told media persons outside Parliament House in New Delhi [Images].

The former Congress leader said he has sought an appointment with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images].

"I decided to quit SP and join the Congress as I feel that the Bharatiya Janata Party's winning assembly election in Karnataka is not a good sign and it's high time all secular parties unite to defeat communal forces," Bangarappa said.

To a question whether he resigned from the SP due to the recent bonhomie between that party and former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh [Images], Bangarappa said, "This is not the reason".

He declined to comment on whether his resignation from the SP will affect the alliance talks between the Congress and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led SP.

"Such things happen. They will be sorted out," Bangarappa added.

Bangarappa maintained that even though he had quit the SP, Mulayam Singh Yadav [Images] and SP General Secretary Amar Singh [Images] were his good friends.

"While discussing UP with Sonia ji, Amar Singh ji incidentally discussed my matter. I should thank him for that," he said.

On the views of Sonia Gandhi who had recently disapproved the politics of 'aya ram-gaya ram', Bangarappa said he did not think he came under that definition.

Bangarappa was in Congress for over three decades till he joined the BJP in March 2004 and was elected on a BJP ticket from Shimoga the same year.

He, however, resigned and got re-elected from the seat in 2005 on a Samajwadi Party ticket after having joined the party that year.

He has represented the Shimoga seat four times. Bangarappa claimed that the Karnataka  unit of the Congress had unanimously recommended to his candidature from the Shimoga seat in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

"Now the decision rests with the All-India Congress Committee. My decision is to contest the election as a Congress candidate. The ball is now in the court of party chief Sonia Gandhi," Bangarappa said.

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