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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Chaos at debate between Nilekani, Ananth Kumar

PTI  Bangalore, March 29, 2014
First Published: 21:00 IST(29/3/2014) | Last Updated: 22:58 IST(29/3/2014)

Chaos broke out on Saturday at a political debate between Congress' nominee for Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency Nandan Nilekani and BJP's Ananth Kumar after workers of the two parties created a ruckus, forcing organisers to abandon the event midway.

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As Kumar began reeling out statistics to attack the Manmohan Singh government, Congress workers grew restive and resorted to sloganeering only to be countered by BJP workers who chanted "Modi, Modi." Congress workers shouted pro-Rahul slogans. Biotech major Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw was moderating the debate at the event organised by Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC) which she heads. BPAC is a citizen's collective initiative that aims to build a better Bangalore and enhance the quality of life of citizens.

Both Kumar and Nilekani tried to bring the situation under control but in vain as slogan-shouting from both sides and heated exchanges escalated.

Earlier when Nilekani was addressing, a few members from the audience shouted slogans demanding he speak in Kannada.

Apart from Nilekani and Kumar, Aam Aadmi Party candidate Nina P Nayak and JD-S' Ruth Manorama were also on stage.

Kumar told reporters that he was giving facts and figures about how the economy has crumbled in the last ten years but Congress supporters had no patience to hear.

"They never wanted to discuss the real issues like price rise, economic crisis, security failures relating Bangladesh and China border, regarding terrorism and Maoist attacks inside the country." "Congress is not ready for a health democratic debate, they don't want to listen to criticism, they don't want to listen to debate...they are not ready to give answers," he said, accusing Congress of having disrupted democratic discussion.

Nilekani, however, accused Kumar of losing track and deviating from the topic. 'It's extremely disappointing that we have an MP who has no interest in talking about his agenda,' Nilekani said, "When Ananth Kumar was asked about his agenda for Bengaluru, rather than answering the question he began attacking the central government."


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