Staff Reporter

Samajwadi Party leader rules out alliance with other parties

`State Election Commission did not act on complaints' Minorities, BCs, farmers neglected by Government: Bangarappa Telephone tapping condemned

Bangalore: President of the State unit of the Samajwadi Party S. Bangarappa, MP, has spoken of a "looting spree" by those in authority and in the administration even as the coalition partners are threatening that mid-term elections to the Assembly are around the corner.

Speaking to presspersons on Monday, the former Chief Minister alleged that the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) had spent heavily in the panchayat elections and now they wanted to recover the money. The elections were likely to be held by April. Though the Janata Dal (S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda was threatening to pull out of the Government, he might not precipitate matters now, he said.

Mr. Bangarappa alleged that the ruling parties and the Bharatiya Janata Party not only distributed money and liquor but even gold to voters in the elections. He accused State Election Commissioner M.R. Hegde of not acting on complaints of his party against the Congress, Janata Dal (S) and BJP for indulging in electoral malpractices.

He said the former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's All-India Progressive Janata Dal had openly supported the Congress in the elections and ruled out alliance with any party. The Samajwadi Party was not interested in aligning itself with any of the coalition partners as both of them had damned themselves through their maladministration. Mr. Siddaramaiah was almost with the Congress, he said.

The Samajwadi Party leader said that though his party could not make much of an impact in the elections, it was a good opportunity to interact with the people. He said the party was planning an agitation demanding steps for improving the lot of minorities, backward classes and farmers, who had been neglected by the coalition partners.

Condemning the tapping of telephones of the party's General Secretary Amar Singh, MP, he charged that it was the handiwork of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil. The telephones of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Communist Party of India (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Janata Dal (United) leader George Fernandes and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani had also been tapped, he charged.