Krishna returns to bolster Congress in Karnataka

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Bangalore, Mar 5 (UNI) Giving the much needed fillip to the morale of Congress party, which lost its power in Karnataka known to be its strong bastion, Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna is all set to return to active politics in the state.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi today summoned Mr Krishna to Delhi and held a lengthy meeting to finalise the former Chief Minister's return to Karnataka politics, party sources said.

Mr Krishna is likely to meet President Pratibha Patil this evening and tender his resignation.

He was appointed Maharashtra governor in 2004 after Congress lost power in this Southern state which had remained its strong bastion since Independence.

The decision of the Congress supremo comes in the wake of the Election Commissions clear indications yesterday, that the elections to the dissolved Assembly could be held in May, before the six-month period of the President's rule ends.

Sources close to Mr Krishna said the Harvard educated veteran politician had sounded to the party high command some time ago that he was not interested in the gubernatorial post anymore and wanted to return to active politics.

Mr Krishna is known as the leader who brought Bangalore on the world map by giving a unstinted support to the IT industry and the one who wanted to make the city as 'Singapore of India'.

However, the farming community was not so impressed and this resulted in the Congress failing to retain power in the 2004 General elections. Karnataka had been the party's strong bastion where it had ruled for nearly 40 years since Independence.

It was an irony though that the party lost its base despite Mr Krishna, who led the campaign then, happens to be a strong leader of Vokkaliga (farming) community.

Top leaders in the state including KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge and former Chief Minister Dharam Singh today welcomed the return of the leader known for his savvy and as very good administrator.

However, party sources indicated that the top leaders in Karnataka were uncomfortable on the return of Mr Krishna, who is certain to steal the limelight from the present leadership once he is back in the state politics.

UNI RS SR HVB1444

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