Wednesday, Feb 27, 2002
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BANGALORE, FEB. 26. The KPCC President, Allum Veerabhadrappa, has refused to accept the view that the result of the Kanakapura byelection was an anti-incumbency verdict.
The reasoning of Mr. Veerabhadrappa is that the people who had voted for the Congress in the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Council election in November last could not have changed in four months. It had nothing to do with the anti-incumbency votes in the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Uttaranchal.
Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, Mr. Veerabhadrappa said that the ``sympathy factor'' worked in favour of the former Prime Minister, H.D.Deve Gowda. He agreed that the coming together of the Janata Dal(S) and the Janata Dal(U) had some effect on the election. He did not think it would influence future elections in the State.
Mr. Veerabhadrappa was of the view that the Congress had nothing to learn from the Kanakapura defeat. Nor did he agree to the demand for the resignation of their candidate, D.K.Shivakumar, from the Cabinet. After all, it was they who had selected him for the election. He did not want to blame anyone for the defeat.
He denied that the AICC had sought a report on the election. They had no doubt discussed the reasons for the defeat. They went down fighting in Kanakapura. He did not agree that the rural people had voted against the Congress. How could one explain Mr. Shivakumar gaining a lead in Sathanur and also Anekal? he asked.
Mr. Veerabhadrappa said that the AICC President, Sonia Gandhi, who would inaugurate the construction of the Kudathini Thermal Power Station in his home constituency of Kurugodu in Bellary District on March 2, would pass through Bangalore.
The Rs.2,500-crore project was part of the Rs.3,300- crore ``Bellary Package'' announced by the Government after Ms. Gandhi resigned her Bellary Lok Sabha seat in 1999. The projects under the package had almost been completed. They included the augmented water supply project for Bellary, the town's underground drainage system, Bellary Ring Road, minor irrigation works, and construction of bus depots.
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