Sonia sounds poll bugle in K'taka, calls for party unity | india | Hindustan Times
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Sonia sounds poll bugle in K'taka, calls for party unity

Touring Karnataka ahead of next year’s assembly elections on Saturday, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi asked party workers to set aside individual ambitions and work together to bring it back to power. HT reports.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2012 23:50 IST
HT Correspondent

Touring Karnataka ahead of next year’s assembly elections on Saturday, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi asked party workers to set aside individual ambitions and work together to bring it back to power.

“Assembly elections are not won in New Delhi. They are won on the ground. We have to work together as a team at all levels," Gandhi told partyworkers at the state Congress committee meeting in Tumkur. The Congress has been out of power in the state for the last six years.

Gandhi, who is on a two-day tour of the state, said Karnataka was looking for a change from “political corruption and divisive communal politics”.

The Congress chief accused the ruling BJP of indulging in double standards on the issue of corruption. “Publicly the BJP states it is against corruption, but, in Karnataka, it is yet to appoint a Lokayukta. This is in sharp contrast to the UPA government’s determination to enact a strong Lokpal Bill, which was held up in the Rajya Sabha by the BJP,” said Gandhi.

“The Congress's victory in the recent Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha by-poll reflects this desire," she said. "I know there is goodwill for us amongst the people. We have to convert this goodwill into electoral success by working tirelessly."

Gandhi also participated in the 105th birthday celebrations of Sri Shivakumara Swami, the head of the Siddaganga Mutt, 80 km from Bangalore. The seer has a large following among the dominant Lingayat community, which has traditionally voted for the BJP.

Gandi also met drought-hit villagers in Nagasamudra, 200 km from Bangalore, and later addressed a large gathering, during which members of the Madiga Dandora, a Dalit community, waved black flags and shouted slogans to demand reservation for the group within the SC category.