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Congress claims credit for Shanti Sagar project

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Emphatic: The former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna addressing a gathering in Chitradurga on Wednesday.
Emphatic: The former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna addressing a gathering in Chitradurga on Wednesday.

Staff Correspondent

Krishna says he sanctioned it when he was Chief Minister

Challenges BJP, JD(S) to come out with details of pro-poor initiatives

He charges them with wasting time on

non-constructive criticism

Chitradurga: Putting an end to speculation, the former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna has clarified that it was during his tenure that the ambitious Shanti Sagar drinking water project was granted to the district.

In the past few days, claims and counter-claims and allegations and counter-allegations have been made over the issue by Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders. Congress candidate G.H. Tippareddy claimed that the Rs. 80-crore project had been approved only because of his persistence, while JD(S) leaders said it was the result of the party’s efforts.

Addressing a gathering on here Wednesday, the last day of campaigning in the district, Mr. Krishna said the project had been approved by him in 2002 to resolve the drinking water shortage in Chitradurga city.

Efforts appreciated

Terming the project significant, he appreciated Mr. Tippareddy for working hard to ensure that it was approved. With regard to the Assembly elections, he charged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the JD(S) with being self-centred and added that they would not hesitate to sacrifice their principles to gain power. “The JD(S), which had claimed to be secular, joined hands with the BJP. They withdrew support to the Congress only for the sake of power. Should we vote such parties to power,” he asked.

Mr. Krishna alleged that both the parties had wasted time on mudslinging and blaming each other instead of focussing on the welfare of the State.

He said the Congress gave priority to the empowerment of women by promoting Stree Shakti self-help groups. “Now, to give them social status, we are making efforts to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in the field of politics,” he added.

The former Minister H. Ekantaiah termed the JD(S) a “dead party” and added that the contest was only between the Congress and BJP.

He appealed to the people not to vote for parties that did not believe in secular principles and said only the Congress could offer a stable government.

Congress candidate G.H. Tippareddy and MLC Salim Ahmed were present.

Welfare schemes

Davangere Staff Correspondent reports:

Addressing a public meeting in Davangere on Wednesday, Mr. Krishna said the Congress would implement all schemes and programmes announced in its election manifesto, if voted to power.

He said the manifesto was aimed at ensuring the welfare of farmers and women and added that the party would not shirk its responsibilities.

Launching a scathing attack against the previous coalition government, he said leaders of the JD(S) and BJP had split over allocation of “lucrative portfolios”.

Mr. Krishna, who arrived here at 4.35 p.m., ended his speech before 5 p.m. when campaigning for the second phase of the elections came to an end.

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