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BJP workers told to be prepared for polls

By Our Special Correspondent

SHIMOGA, AUG. 21. The Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, B.S. Yediyurappa, told the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers here on Saturday to be prepared for Assembly elections, which, he said, would be held sooner than expected.

Inaugurating a meeting of elected representatives of the party in the district, he said nobody in the ruling coalition knew for certain how long the Government would last.

The manner in which the former Prime Minister and President of the Janata Dal (Secular), H.D. Deve Gowda, was embarrassing the Congress leadership by making allegations against the former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna and some of his ministerial colleagues was proof enough that the State was likely to face an early election, Mr. Yediyurappa said.

Besides, the reported statement by Mr. Krishna that he would tour the State from October to strengthen the party lent credence to the fear that elections were round the corner, he added.

Excise auctions

He wondered why Mr. Gowda was silent about the "corrupt practises" of the Ministers belonging to his party. The delay in holding annual excise auctions in some districts had resulted in a loss of Rs. 100 crores to the exchequer, he said.

He alleged that the silence of both Mr. Gowda and the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, who also held the Excise portfolio, on the issue led to the suspicion that they were responsible for the delay in holding the excise auctions.

He described Shimoga as the main of source of inspiration for the BJP as it was here that the Janata Dal (S) and the Congress had been completely routed. The district had returned six of the eight MLAs in the district to power, he said. In this context, it was necessary for the elected representatives to respond to the aspirations of the people.

Teachers

Mr. Yediyurappa said the Government should take steps to create a congenial atmosphere where teachers could function with dignity and self-respect.

Speaking after inaugurating a district-level conference of the heads of secondary schools and composite junior colleges, he said teachers deserved better care and attention. It was unfortunate that the Government was not releasing grants to aided institutions on time, he said.

Hailing the contribution of retired teachers, Mr. Yediyurappa asked them not to withdraw from public life but continue to serve society by guiding young teachers.

Praised

Mr. Yediyurappa praised the contribution of leading religious institutions in promoting education through their institutions. "In fact, they are discharging the responsibility of the Government," he said.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, D.H. Shankaramurthy; K.S. Eshwarappa, Shimoga MLA; the Deputy Director of Public Instruction, G. Basavanappa; the President of the Shimoga Zilla Panchayat, Attigunda Chandrasekhar; and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Education, B.P. Ramachandrappa, were present.

Prasannanath Swamiji of the local branch of Adi Chunchanagirimath presided over the function.

Earlier, H.V. Jayanna, president of the District High School Headmasters' and Principals' Association, welcomed the gathering.

Students who scored high marks in the SSLC examination this year were felicitated on the occasion.

Mr. Yediyurappa also inaugurated the new building of the association.

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