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S Bangarappa

Call him wily, call him opportunist or simply call him an incorrigible turncoat. Former Karnataka chief minister has not taken all this in stride and continues to pack the political punch against all odds as well.
PTI | By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 04, 2004 04:29 PM IST

Call him wily, call him opportunist or simply call him an incorrigible turncoat. Former Karnataka chief minister has not taken all this in stride and continues to pack the political punch against all odds as well.

He has been in and out of the Congress. But now, he has finally changed colours altogether. The 71-year-old has joined BJP, apparently after being ignored and overlooked by Congress high command. And his son Kumar Bangarappa too has followed him to join the saffron brigade.

Born in 1933, Bangarappa was Chief Minister during 1992-94. Since 1967, he has been a sure-shot winner, particularly in Assembly polls, from his pocket borough Soraba. The seat is now represented by his son.

He had left the Congresss in 1983 to form Karnataka Kranti Ranga.

The only major electoral defeat suffered by Bangarappa was from Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency in 1998. But he has vowed to come back here with a bang, likely in one of its assembly segments in forthcoming simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls. Of course, he is relying heavily on his new friends in BJP besides his own support base, which, however, has shrunk over the years.

After being low-profile for years, he has returned to the active politics after his acquittal in the Classik computer case. A shrewd politician and master manipulator, Bangarappa was replaced as chief minister in 1992 but he had been trying hard to get the top job again.

He wanted to get an assembly poll ticket and not the recommended LS ticket from Shimoga, so that he be projected as the chief minister. He had also recommended 50 names for as many assembly seats. But both these demands were rejected by Congress high command and so he rejected the Congress itself.

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