Siddaramaiah group joins Cong

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Bangalore, Jan 27 (UNI) Ahead of the mid-term elections for the Karnataka Assembly to be held later this year, the Congress got a boost with eight former MLAs of the Siddramaiah group, who quit Janata Dal(S) earlier, formally joining the party today.

The leaders from different parts of the State had supported the Congress even while they were in the JD(S), for 'technical reasons.' H C Mahadevappa, K Venkatesh, Somashekar, H Y Meti, M Mahadev, Vaijanath Patil, K M Krishnamurthy and B R Patil were formally welcomed into the Congress by party In-charge for Karnataka and Union Minister Prithviraj Chauhan.

Later, speaking to newspersons Mr Chauhan said it signified a major political consolidation for the Congress.

''The coming elections will be a bi-polar fight between the Congress and the communal forces.

''The JD(S) is no different as it joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party by forging an alliance for 20 months. This arrangement has been done to loot the State and support individual ideology.

''The eight gentlemen came out not able to bear the suffocation,'' he claimed.

Mr Chauhan said nothing much was left with the JD(S) now and the party would face further disintegration. The same thing would happen to the Janata Dal(U) as well, he predicted.

The Congress, which was leading the UPA in the Centre, had done 'extremely well' in narrowing the national and social divide and it was eager to bring the development it had successfully ushered in the nation to remote parts of Karnataka and bring the lost glory to the State.

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