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Shimoga Congress to counter Bangarappa's campaign

By Our Special Correspondent

SHIMOGA, MARCH 2. The Shimoga District Congress Committee (DCC) seems to have galvanised itself in the context of the former Chief Minister and Shimoga MP S. Bangarappa launching a four-day campaign in his district on Wednesday seeking support for the State unit of the Samajwadi Party to be launched by him shortly.

Apparently upset by the aggressive manner in which Mr. Bangarappa is going about his campaign to mobilise support, the DCC plans to organise "Bala Samvardhane Samavesha" on Friday.

Making the announcement at a press conference here, the former Shimoga MP Ayanur Manjunath, who unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha election against Mr. Bangarappa, said the conference intends to persuade those who resigned from the Congress to return to the party.

He said Mr. Bangarappa seems to be engaged in a "futile'' exercise to draw support for the Samajwadi Party by trying to persuade Congress workers to join it.

He said prominent leaders of the Janata Party, such as Ananthram, L. Satyanarayana, Padmanabh Udupa, Balkeesh Banu, Krishne Gowda and B.A. Ramesh, will be admitted into the Congress at the conference. Those who have been identified as supporters of Mr. Bangarappa will join the Congress soon, he claimed.

Mr. Manjunath described Mr. Bangarappa's decision to resign from the Bharatiya Janata Party as "anti-people and deceitful.'' He said the former Chief Minister owes an explanation to the people who voted for him in the last election. He appealed to the people who are planning to join the Samajwadi Party to reconsider their options.

`Govts. will fall soon'

Mr. Bangarappa began his tour by addressing a workers' meeting at Bhadravati. He criticised the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre and the Congress-led coalition Government in the State.

He said they will collapse soon, and a third front will emerge under the leadership of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader, Mulayam Singh.

Launch of party unit

He announced that the State unit of the Samajwadi Party will be inaugurated at a public meeting at Palace Grounds in Bangalore on March 26.

Mr. Bangarappa said there is nothing wrong in the selection of the "bicycle'' as his symbol as "I started my political career riding it.''

He said he decided to resign from the Congress as he was sidelined. He has decided to quit the BJP as he is convinced that it is a communal party, he added.

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