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`Congress exploiting Dalit sentiments'

Special Correspondent



H.D. Kumaraswamy

MYSORE: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Saturday criticised the Congress for what he described as "concocting" the Dasanakoppal incident in which Malajamma, MLC, was allegedly prevented from campaigning by Janata Dal (Secular) activists.

More than 500 Congress workers staged a dharna against the alleged incident in Mysore on Friday night and demanded police protection for Congress workers and leaders campaigning in Chamundeshwari constituency.

The Chief Minister said he had gathered information pertaining to the alleged incident and added it was a standard Congress ploy to play caste politics to exploit the sentiments of Dalits.

Mr. Kumaraswamy referred to the names of eight persons mentioned in the police first information report and asked how Ms. Malajamma knew their names. "She was gently requested by the JD(S) workers not to campaign as the people of the village had decided to vote in favour of the JD(S). She refused and visited a house where a conspiracy was hatched to malign the JD(S)," Mr. Kumaraswamy charged.

Mr. Kumaraswamy refuted allegations of the Congress that the JD(S) was indulging in caste politics and misusing official machinery.

However, the Chief Minister admitted that it was wrong on anybody's part to prevent individuals or political parties from campaigning on the grounds that a decision had been taken in the village to vote en masse in favour of a political party.

Later in the day, Minister for Women and Child Welfare H.K. Kumaraswamy refuted the Congress allegations and said it was in the nature of the Congress to stoop to such a low level.

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