KARNATAKA

Vijay Sankeshwar promises low tax regime

MANGALORE, FEB. 26. A low tax regime and implementation of a number of cost-cutting measures to avoid wasteful expenditure is what Vijay Sankeshwar, Founder-President of Kannada Nadu, promises if his party is voted to power.

Speaking to The Hindu here, Mr. Sankeshwar said Kannada Nadu had been evolved with the sole objective of ensuring the development of Karnataka.

The party would strive to achieve this if it came to power, he said and added that this was the reason why Kannada Nadu had looked askance at "overtures" made by national parties for an electoral alliance.

He contended that an understanding with other parties would "dilute" the objectives of his party. Elaborating, he said he was not impressed by the national parties which were haughtily offering their support to regional parties.

"In fact, it should be the other way round; regional parties are stronger than national parties..." he added.

Mr. Sankeshwar said regional parties treated people not as voters but as citizens who needed better facilities such as roads, drinking water, power, and increased employment opportunities.

But none of the national parties had done anything in this regard. "They are all the same everywhere: old wine in a new bottle," he said.

This was the reason why he was not keen on veteran political "war horses" joining Kannada Nadu, as he "did not want their shadow to fall on the team of young dedicated workers of the party," Mr. Sankeshwar said.

But leaders who were motivated by the objectives of Kannada Nadu and had a clean political career could join the party.

He expressed the view that the future of political parties would be decided on their integrity, development programmes, and commitment to the welfare of people and not on the "hollow assurances" doled out by their leaders.

Mr. Sankeshwar said his party would field candidates from all the 28 Lok Sabha and 224 Assembly constituencies in the State and expressed the confidence that his party would be able to form the Government in the State and also win a substantial number of Lok Sabha constituencies.