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Dharam Singh urges Congress leaders to close ranks

Staff Correspondent

Activists called upon to ensure that the party comes to power on its own

DAVANGERE: Karnataka Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh has said that the Congress will strive to come to power on its own in the next elections and declared that the party "will be strengthened at all levels."

Inaugurating the Davangere District Congress conference here on Friday, Mr. Singh called upon the workers and leaders to shed differences and work towards strengthening the party. "Though the Congress did not do well in the last elections and could not form the government on its own, the party workers did not feel disheartened. They were hopeful of good days ahead," he said and added that the Congress under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi has a bright future.

The Chief Minister, whose speech was interrupted by a sudden down pour, said that the party is committed to fulfilling the promises made during the elections and claimed that it has already fulfilled some of them.

Floods

Referring to the floods in north Karnataka, he said that the Centre has released Rs. 400 crores so far. He reiterated that an all-party delegation will go to Delhi and meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and submit a memorandum in this regard.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President and Water Resources Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge, in his speech said that one party has been claiming that it was the champion of farmers while another outfit is maintaining that it stood for the backward classes and Dalits.

"But the fact is that the Congress, which has a history of over 100 years, has been working for farmers, backward classes, Dalits and minorities for long," he said.

The Congress is a party of the poor, irrespective of caste, community and creed, he said and added that there is no need for the Congress to learn what to do for the uplift of farmers, Dalits and minorities. His reference perhaps was to the Janata Dal leaders H.D. Deve Gowda and the ousted Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Squabbles

Mr. Kharge said that other parties have been bedevilled with internal squabbles. Leaders of these parties are quarrelling openly. People have realised that the Congress alone can provide an effective administration, he said.

The KPCC chief lauded Ms. Sonia Gandhi for the Employment Guarantee Bill. He said that the Women's Reservation Bill, which is before Parliament, will also be passed soon as Ms. Sonia Gandhi has taken a keen interest in it. He also said that the Congress had fulfilled many of its promises made in the elections. He noted that the party had implemented schemes to give rice at Rs. 3 a kg to the poor and loans to farmers at six per cent interest. Mr. Kharge also called upon party activists to work towards ensuring that the party comes to power in the next elections on its own.

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