Venkaiah Naidu invites Congress for debate

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Bangalore, May 5: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M Venkaiah Naidu today dared Congress leaders to join him in a public debate on various issues directly affecting the common man.

Speaking to newspersons here, he said the people were in favour of the BJP after they found that both the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) have failed to deliver the goods effectively.

Questioning the Congress on ten points, which, among others, covered unemployment, rampant corruption and crisis in farm sector, he sought to know on what basis the Congress was seeking the people's mandate. The BJP was ready to engage in a public debate if the Congress leaders came forward to discuss these topics, he added.

Mr Naidu asked the Congress to spell out its policy on arrack.

The fact that the Congress could not field any candidate in Shikaripura against BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa was indicative of the party's defeat in the Assembly elections, he chided.

He said senior party leader L K Advani would address a public meeting in the city tomorrow and announced that former Minister M Raghupathy had quit the Congress to join his party.

Mr Raghupathy, who was also present, criticised the style of functioning of some Congress leaders and alleged that they had formed a coterie around party President Sonia Gandhi. Ms Gandhi did not know what was happening as these leaders had kept her in the dark about the state of affairs in Karnataka, he charged.


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