Senior Congress leader and AICC General Secretary Oscar Fernandes on Friday said people of Karnataka are looking for a “major change” and it is the Congress party which has to fulfill people’s aspirations.

Taking an indirect swipe at the ruling BJP, the Rajya Sabha M P addressing a press conference here said “in the last six years what we have never seen in Karnataka, what has never happened, has happened......people are looking for a major change and it is for us to fulfill the aspirations of the people”.

Now is the opportunity for the Congress party to strengthen Karnataka’s position as a forerunner in fields including education, health, scientific research and industrial development, Mr. Fernandes said.

Claiming there was a strong wave in favour of Congress in the state, he expressed confidence that it would be translated into votes.

To a query on dissidence in the Congress, he said “it is an important question. It is a challenge”.

In response to another question on increasing discontent among the loyal workers who had been denied tickets, he said it would be addressed and resolved.

To another question on senior Congress leader and former External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna deciding to go on a foreign tour during campaigning apparently miffed at some of his supporters being denied tickets, Mr. Fernandes said “he is our senior leader. We are confident we will get his support”.

On being questioned about Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi’s contribution to the party, he said it was Rahul Gandhi who ensured that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was implemented in every district.

On mining barons Santosh Lad and Anil Lad who are allegedly involved in illegal mining, being given tickets, Mr. Fernandes said “till there is a court verdict or a police verdict, we cannot deny a ticket to an aspirant”.

To a question on yesterday’s arrest and subsequent bail of Congress candidate from Rajarajeshwarinagar assembly constituency Muniratna Naidu for allegedly threatening an election officer, Mr. Fernandes said “let us wait for the court verdict“.

Earlier, Mr. Fernandes condemned the recent blast in front of BJP office which left 16 persons injured.

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