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Congress too for a show of strength

Staff Reporter

Party plans to organise a meeting of those elected to the gram panchayats recently



We'll also do it: The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, having a word with the KPCC President, B. Janardhana Poojary (right), at a May Day programme at the party office in Bangalore on Sunday. — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

BANGALORE: The Congress will also hold a meeting of partymen elected in the recent gram panchayat elections and show its strength, the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, said here on Sunday. It is not that one party can hold a meeting and claim popularity in the State, he said.

Addressing partymen at the May Day programme at the Congress office here, Mr. Dharam Singh said: "About 43,000 of our partymen have been elected in the gram panchayat elections. I will ask the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President, B. Janardhana Poojary, to hold such a meeting. We will request the party President, Sonia Gandhi, to address it," he said.

Pained

Mr. Dharam Singh said he was pained to see reports and hear some leaders speak that the Government is not doing much for the people. "The Government is being portrayed as not doing any good work. But the fact is that we are doing a lot of work," he said.

Referring to the Daridra Narayana rally of slum dwellers organised by the Janata Dal (Secular) on Saturday, he said it is the Congress that has done the most for slum dwellers since the days of the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

"Ms. Sonia Gandhi is now continuing the work of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi," he said.

"Our Government is giving rice at Rs. 3 a kg and houses for slum dwellers. Which other Government has provided all these facilities to slum dwellers? They are our vote bank and we will continue to serve them," he said.

Reacting to the statement of the General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, H.N. Ananth Kumar, that meeting of the all-party delegation with the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to highlight the "illegal" irrigation projects taken up by Andhra Pradesh, was "a failure," Mr. Dharam Singh said: "They (BJP leaders) sat mum and did not speak at the meeting. They are speaking only now."

Mr. Poojary asked the partymen to tell people about the good work done of the Dharam Singh Government. "This will help in the upcoming taluk panchyat and zilla panchayat elections," he said.

About the statement of the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, that he would meet the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and bring to his notice the land grabbing in Bangalore. Mr. Poojary said: "Does it mean that most of the people are land grabbers. Has land grabbing led to a constitutional breakdown in the State?"

Mr. Poojary stressed the need for a coordination committee for sorting out the problems between the two parties.

"The problems should not be discussed in public," he said.

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