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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Nilekani not IT candidate, carries Cong baggage: BJP

PTI  Bangalore, April 03, 2014
First Published: 20:59 IST(3/4/2014) | Last Updated: 21:02 IST(3/4/2014)

Dismissing any significant support base for Nandan Nilekani in this IT hub, his rival and BJP's sitting MP Ananth Kumar says the former Infosys chief was in fact carrying a huge baggage of the Congress party.

"People recognise him here as a Congress candidate and not as anything other than that. He is not a candidate of IT, neither he is a candidate of the corporate world," said the senior BJP leader, against whom Congress has fielded Nilekani from Bangalore South constituency.

54-year-old Kumar, who has been elected for a record five times from this constituency, also dismissed suggestions that Nilekani could be at an advantageous position because of being a co-founder and former CEO of Bangalore-based Infosys and for having served as Chairman of UIDAI (Unique Identity Authority of India).

"For people at large, he is a Congress candidate with all the baggage and legacy of that party, such as price rise, economic crisis, corruption, scams, insecurity at the borders etc. At the first given opportunity, people want to remove this party and therefore he (Nilekani) is in fact at a great disadvantage," Kumar told PTI in an interview.

During Lok Sabha elections in 2009, Kumar got nearly 4.38lakh votes, defeating Congress' Krishna Byre Gowda by a margin of over 37,000 votes from this seat.

Other than Kumar and Nilekani, more than 20 other candidates are in fray from this constituency for the Lok Sabha 2014 polls, voting for which would be held on April 17.

These include Aam Aadmi Party's Nina Nayak, Ruth Manorama from Janta Dal (Secular) and 12 independents among others.

Kumar said that his election campaign was going "full-blast" and he was seeing "tremendous support here for BJP and for Narendra Modi as the country's next Prime Minister".

Asked whether Bangalore being an IT hub would benefit Nilekani, Kumar said, "Bangalore being a city of IT crowd and young people makes its residents even more well-informed and more enlightened. Therefore, they also know very well what Nandan Nilekani is trying to do.

"People are seeing through his game and therefore we feel that the entire IT crowd and the entire youth crowd want a change at the Centre and they want Congress party to go. They want Manmohan Singh to go and they do not want Rahul Gandhi, they want an able and capable Prime Minister and they see an able and capable Prime Minister in Narendra Modi," he added.


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