KARNATAKA

Bangarappa an opportunist, says Khan

SHIMOGA, MARCH 3. Ismail Khan, senior Congress leader, said here on Wednesday that the former Chief Minister, S. Bangarappa, had exhibited opportunism by leaving the Congress after holding several posts under it.

He told presspersons that Mr. Bangarappa's outbursts against the Congress would get a fitting reply once the results of the Assembly and the Lok Sabha elections were out.

Referring to the reported prediction by Mr. Bangarappa that the Congress would be reduced to dust in the elections, Mr. Khan said it was only a display of arrogance.

Mr. Bangarappa would learn a lesson this time for his "political opportunism".

Mr. Khan said that he would leave politics if Mr. Bangarappa won in the coming elections. "Will Mr. Bangarappa react in the same way if he loses the election,'' he asked.

He was sure that Mr. Bangarappa would find no other alternative but to return to the Congress if he did not get elected. However, the loyal Congress workers would not allow the move.

Referring to the remark by Mr. Bangarappa that he was disgusted that he could not do much as an MP, he said people could not be blamed for his failure to put up an impressive performance inside and outside Parliament.

Mr. Khan, who is a serious contender for the party nomination for the Lok Sabha election from the Shimoga constituency, served as the President of the District Congress Committee before he was made the General Secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. He said that he would not press for candidature if the party leadership found a better candidate than him.

When his attention was drawn to the reported move of the Congress to rope in the Working President of the Janata Party, Ayanur Manjunath, and field him against Mr. Bangarappa in the Lok Sabha election, Mr. Khan said he was not aware of any such move.