Congress launches campaign in Karnataka

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Davangere, Karnataka, Apr 13 (UNI) In a strong bid to regain power in Karnataka, the Congress today launched its election campaign with a mammoth farmers' rally here and mounted a scathing attack on the Janata Dal (Secular) and the BJP, which ruled the state for 20 months.

''These two parties do not deserve to exist in Karnataka. One is a betrayer and the other a communal party, which is more dangerous.

People should root out these forces from the state,'' KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge said, while speaking at the rally.

He said while BJP leader and then Deputy Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had pledged the government to mutts, then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had proved to be an ''utter flop'' and had even lost the confidence of bureaucrats.

''The JD(S) and the BJP have no moral right to seek votes as both were responsible for early election in the state. So it is only the Congress that can provide a stable government for a full five-year term,'' he claimed.

Former Chief Minister and Election Committee Chairman S M Krishna said during the previous Congress rule, top priority was accorded to irrigation projects. Large-scale desilting of tanks was a big achievement that no other government had achieved, he added.

''We will approach the voters with full confidence showing our previous performance and our promises made in the manifesto. The Congress will keep its words at any cost,'' Mr Krishna said.

The Congress, in its manifesto, had promised to offer a colour TV set to all below poverty line households, taking a leaf out of its ally DMK's campaign ahead of the May 2006 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, and loans to farmers at three per cent interest rate.

A host of Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, N Dharam Singh, AICC General Secretary Praveen Dawar and B Janardhana Poojary, were present at the rally.

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