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Bangarappa is optimistic of Congress-JD(S) alliance

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Celebrating birthday: The former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa with children from Mathrushree Manovikasa Kendra at his residence in Bangalore on Sunday.
Celebrating birthday: The former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa with children from Mathrushree Manovikasa Kendra at his residence in Bangalore on Sunday.

Special Correspondent

Says he will contest the next Lok Sabha polls from Shimoga

BANGALORE: Samajwadi Party State unit president S. Bangarappa on Sunday expressed optimism that it is still possible to forge an alliance between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) for the coming byelections to eight Assembly constituencies in the State despite Janata Dal (Secular) president H.D. Deve Gowda ruling out any tie-up between the parties.

Mr. Bangarappa, who celebrated his 76th birthday on Sunday at his residence in Bangalore along with a large number of his supporters and fans, told The Hindu: “Mr. Gowda might have made such remarks (ruling out the alliance) in the wake of some differences between the two parties.”

He observed that it would be possible for the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) to join hands to put up a combined fight against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the bypolls. Such an alliance is a must to teach a lesson to the BJP, the former Chief Minister said.

When asked if he would take the initiative to forge an alliance between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), Mr. Bangarappa said it was not appropriate for him to take up this task. “It is left to the leaders of these two parties to make efforts to forge the alliance.”

The Samajwadi Party would not field its candidates for the by-polls.

However, it would support the candidates of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance, he said.

Mr. Bangarappa declared that he would contest the next Lok Sabha polls from Shimoga constituency, which he is presently representing. Referring to the talks between his party and the Congress for a tie-up for the Lok Sabha polls, he said his party State unit would demand one or two more Lok Sabha seats in addition to the Shimoga constituency.

He criticised the functioning style of the BJP Government headed by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and accused it of failing to respond to the aspirations of people.

Mr. Bangarappa celebrated his birthday by spending time and having breakfast with about 35 mentally challenged children from Mathrushri Manovikasa Kendra, a residential school for spastic children.

A large number of supporters had come from far off places to greet Mr. Bangarappa on his birthday. Many wanted him to pose with them for a picture. Mr. Bangarappa obliged all of them.

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