Congress set to sound poll bugle in Karnataka



Bangalore: With Karnataka assembly elections due early next year, the Congress is all set to sound the poll bugle next month through a series of public meetings and "padayatras" from the grass roots in a bid to wrest power from the BJP.

At a general body meeting of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee here today, it was decided to organise a month-long campaign from October 2, holding as many as 1,797 public meetings covering all the 224 assembly segments, KPCC President G Parameshwara told reporters.

The assembly elections are due in May. In November, Congress workers would stage "padayatras" from Hobli (cluster of adjoining villages) to Taluka headquarters, with the aim of highlighting local problems, "misdeeds" of the BJP government and "achievements" of the UPA government at the Centre.

Parameshwara said the party would send observers to all the constituencies within two weeks as it prepared to finalise candidates for the poll.

He appealed to the party leaders and workers not to go to New Delhi (for lobbying for seats) as the candidates' list would be finalised by KPCC itself and forwarded to Central Election Committee, chaired by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, for clearance.

Congress manifesto for the coming poll would highlight problems faced in districts and focus on irrigation, power and other infrastructure sectors, among others, he said.

The meeting also passed a resolution congratulating the UPA Government for approving a proposal for granting special status to six backward districts in north Karnataka -- Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal and Bellary (known as Hyderabad-Karnataka region) -- by amending Article 371 of the Constitution.

Parameshwara said the then Deputy Prime Minister of the NDA Government L K Advani had in 2002 written to the then Chief Minister S M Krishna rejecting the proposal.

PTI