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Bangarappa returns to Cong
Published on 15 Mar. 2009 12:17 AM IST
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The Congress Saturday said “all options” on alliance in Karnataka for the Lok Sabha polls were open even as former chief minister S. Bangarappa, who quit the Samajwadi Party, returned to the party to “strengthen secular forces”. “As of now, we are going it alone but in democracy all options are open,” Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters here, while announcing Bangarappa’s return to the party fold. He evaded questions if the Congress was in talks with Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda for a poll alliance. Azad said this was Bangarappa’s “last homecoming and there is no going back now”. Bangarappa was the state Congress president before switching loyalties. He quit as MP and state president of the Samajwadi Party last month. “I am happy. I have returned to the Congress to strengthen secular forces” in Karnataka, Bangarappa told reporters. He said the BJP’s victory in Karnataka was not a good sign. Azad said Bangarappa met Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday and expressed his desire to join the party. Asked if this would not severe its already uncomfortable relations with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress leader said: “The Samajwadi Party leaders were aware and agreed (on Bangarappa joining the Congress).”

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