Ex-Minister quits JD(S) to join BJP

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Bangalore, Mar 13 (UNI) Former Karnataka minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader B N Bachegowda today joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with scores of his supporters.

Talking to newspersons soon after formally joining the party in the presence of senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, Mr Bachegowda alleged that the JD (S) did not make use of his potential properly. The BJP was not a communal party as viewed by other parties and it offered internal freedom to leaders, he claimed.

Welcoming Mr Bachegowda into the party, Mr Naidu said the Congress was panicky that it would bite the dust in the coming State Assembly polls and was trying to ensure postponement of elections.

But, defeat for the Congress was imminent. Congress President Sonia Gandhi's leadership had failed to garner votes for the party resulting its defeat in ten out of 11 States which went to the polls after the 2004 general elections, he pointed out.

He said people would teach the Congress a fitting lesson for its ''irresponsible'' dealing of issues such as price rise of essential commodities and farmers' suicide. The farm loan waiver announced by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram was a big hoax, he ridiculed.

On the re-entry of former Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna into State politics, Mr Naidu said Mr Krishna was a 'tried, tired and failed horse.'' It was during his leadership that the Congress was reduced in strength in the last Assembly elections, he recalled.

He demanded that the Centre accept the Kerala High Court recommendations and despatch Central forces immediately to Kannur to control the political violence there.

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