Ballari: With elections to the state assembly looming, two mining barons- turned- politicians B S Anand Singh of the Congress and H R Gaviyappa of the BJP are preparing to take on each other in the Vijayanagar (Hosapete) assembly constituency of this ore -rich district.
Making no secret of his money power, Mr Singh, who recently quit the BJP to join the Congress, but has not yet been officially declared its candidate from Hospete, has challenged Mr Gaviyappa, who has been promised the BJP ticket, to bet a sum of Rs 15 crore on the outcome of the poll from the constituency.
"We could each deposit Rs 15 crore and whoever wins the assembly election should use that money to build 10,000 homes for the homeless in the constituency. God has given the two of us plenty of money and I am ready to do my part . Let us see what Gaviyappa has to say," he said.
Mr Singh, who was speaking at a function to distribute autorickshaws to drivers, who had won them in the Anand Lakshmi Lucky Dip he had sponsored, added, “Gaviyappa quit the Congress party in a hurry and joined a party which divides society on communal lines. I would still welcome him back into the Congress and even work for him should he get the party ticket."
Continuing to needle his rival, he claimed the BJP leader was surrounded by foxes with a single -point agenda to stoke communal fires." Gaviyappa must keep these foxes away and ensure a peaceful election in the constituency. If there are communal clashes, he will be responsible," he warned.
Claiming that the mining baron had done nothing for the constituency although he represented it between 2004 and 2008, he alleged he was not even accessible to the people at the time. "The people's expectations are now high and they must elect a person with a vision," he maintained.
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