KARNATAKA

Row over Krishna's `promise' to candidate

MYSORE May 29. The Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna's reported assurance to make the Congress candidate in the Narasimharaja Assembly byelection, Tanvir Sait, a minister, if he is elected, has triggered a controversy with the Janata Parivar leaders threatening to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission.

While addressing an election meeting at Meelad Bagh on Tuesday night, Mr. Krishna sought to know from Mr. Sait, who was also seated on the dais, whether he was "ready" to become a minister. Mr. Sait is understood to have replied: "It is all your grace. It is left only to you.''

Mr. Krishna's reported assurance has generated much heat and debate in political circles. The Janata Parivar leaders have taken serious exception to the Chief Minister's reported assurance, with the former MLC and JD(S) leader, A.K. Subbaiah, accusing him of violating the election code of conduct by luring the Muslim community with poll-eve promises.

The former minister and JD(U) leader, P.G.R. Sindhia, ridiculed the Chief Minister's assurance. "He is trying to lure the Muslim voters with false promises," he said.

Meanwhile, the Janata Parivar leaders made up for the absence of the former Chief Minister, Ramakrishna Hegde, in the election campaign by releasing to the press a letter from Mr. Hegde endorsing his support for Mr. Pawar's candidature. Copies of Mr. Hegde's letter were distributed to the media.

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