Minister blames K'taka govt for attack on places of worship

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Bangalore, Oct 6 (UNI) Union Minister Prithviraj Chavan today alleged that the attack on places of worship in Karnataka were ''state-sponsored'' and intended to expand BJP's political base.

Addressing a party meeting at Doddaballapur on the outskirts of the city, where new KPCC President R V Deshapande and working President D K Shivakumar took charge of the party posts, he urged partymen to work together to defeat communal forces.

Mr Chavan alleged that the BJP Government in Karnataka had ''failed'' to protect the interests of the minorities.

Calling upon the partymen to come together and remove the ''communal government'' in Karnataka, the minister alleged that ''the BJP in the State was trying to terrorise the minorities with an intention to expand its political base. It is the fundamental duty of any elected government to protect all sections of the society, in which the BJP Government has failed.'' Referring to the coming byelections to eight Assembly seats in the State, the minister urged partymen to take it as a challenge and make the party win all the seats. ''It would be the beginning of the end of the saffron Government in the state, which is known for communal harmony, peace and tranquillity,'' he added.

Former KPCC President and Leader of the Opposition in Legislative Assembly Mallikarjuna Kharge, addressing the meeting, alleged that the party had failed to come back to power in the state in the last elections because of some ''treacherous'' acts within the party.

''I have submitted a report to the party president Sonia Gandhi on why the party failed to make it to power,'' he said.

Mr Deshapande and Mr Shivakumar also addressed the gathering and sought the co-operation from all the party leaders.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Sidharamaiah, former Union Minister Ambarish and Lok Sabha member R L Jalappa were conspicious by their absence.

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