Bitter past with JD(S) neither forgiven nor forgotten: Cong

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Bangalore, May 20 (UNI) Senior Congress leader S M Krishna today said the Congress will have to ''think a thousand times'' before re-aligning with the Janata Dal (Secular) in case of a fractured mandate in the ongoing Assembly elections in Karnataka.

Talking to newspersons here, he said experiences with the JD(S) had been bitter and it could neither be forgotten nor forgiven. ''The Congress will have to think a thousand times before plunging into such an episode again,'' he remarked.

The Congress-led coalition government, after the 2004 hung Assembly, was pulled down by a group of JD(S) Legislators, led by former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, which later went on to form a coalition government with the BJP. However, that Government also met with the same fate as Mr Kumaraswamy decided to withdraw support to the BJP.

Mr Krishna, however, said his party was confident of gaining simple majority this time and forming the Government without help of any other party or people.

''I toured about 100 Assembly segments for campaigning in the last few days and we are confident that people will act decisively and bring back the Congress. The reason for this is that they are fed up with the failures of coalition governments in the State,'' he said.

He accused the BJP of using money and liquor to gain power, with the JD(S) coming a close second in using money to lure voters.

''Money has played a very disturbing role in this election and I have seen it during campaigning. While commending the Election Commission's efforts to discipline the process of campaign, it has not done enough to keep a right watch on the movement of money,'' he said.

The Congress had no money and was a poor man's party, he claimed.

The former Chief Minister said pre-poll surveys or exit polls were far from the ground realities. ''Recently, I saw the 2004 exit polls and started laughing to myself. They are in no way related to the ground realities. So we are not depending on such forecasts.'' On his opinion about BJP Chief Ministerial Candidate B S Yeddyurappa, he said the BJP leader seemed to be in a tearing hurry to race towards the Chief Minister's chair. ''People are in no such urgency. I don't think they are ready for this. They will reject Mr Yeddyurappa,'' he added.

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