Sonia let down by her party, infighting could erode win

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Bangalore, May 3: Congress president Sonia Gandhi tried everything and went by the book, but her party leaders let her down yesterday, and may let her down again on May 8.

She spoke few words in Kannada, took names of well-known Kannadigas and appealed to the urban Bangalore during her election speech. She clearly looked confident despite the possibility that her party may not cross 100 seats in Karnataka Assembly elections.

Her party leaders are still indulging in fights and sabotaging each others campaign, and failed to act unitedly, at least for their leader.

Sonia's Bangalore meeting was crying for crowd, hired or otherwise, as she wrapped up a short campaign in Karnataka on Thursday with a rally in Gulbarga and the IT capital.

The crowd at the Palace grounds was thin and the Congress, which is looking to capture at leas 20 seats of 28 in Bangalore, could not bring in even 50,000 to occupy the empty chairs. A liberal estimate put Thursday's crowd strength at around 20,000. Even the presence of film star Chiranjeevi failed to bring decent numbers by the Congress standard.

The official election campaign ends tonight in Karnataka and two recent poll surveys by media houses give a lower number of seats to the Congress than the numbers they were expected to win.

In the earlier surveys in January, the Congress was projected to win at least 120 seats. But after seats distribution fiasco and infighting for the chief minister's post, the party is expected to win 96 to 100 seats.

For the record, at Gulbarga, Sonia Gandhi demanded that the BJP government give an account of how it spent Rs 88,000 crore allotted by the UPA government for various schemes.

"The people of Karnataka have the right to know how central funds have been used and what assets have been created through our flagship scheme like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA)."

Sonia Gandhi argued that unlike the rival party, the Congress did not make false promises, implemented all policies and programmes in its manifesto and its inclusive approach was good for the new generation as it encouraged a "productive and healthier life".

In Bangalore, she praised it for its "cosmopolitan" and "development oriented" character and lashed out at the BJP for neglecting it.

"You have seen how the BJP government let you down by squandering the mandate you gave it five years ago," she said in her speech delivered in English.

At the rally, Soina greeted public 'ellarigu namaskaragalu' (namaste to all) and said 'badalavane tanni' (bring change). One only hopes that the change would come in the Congress leaders attitude and conduct.

OneIndia News

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