Ballari: A public meeting organised to celebrate the spectacular victory of Congress candidate Mr V.S. Ugrappa in the recent Ballari Lok Sabha by-poll, saw heavyweights of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government taunting BJP leaders while claiming that the huge 2.43 lakh vote victory margin of Mr Ugrappa was enough to smash the ‘Republic of Ballari’ dream of the Reddy mine lords and their close confidante, B Sriramulu.
The meeting also saw stalwarts of the coalition government attack PM Modi, state BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa, Molakalmur BJP MLA Sriramulu and beleaguered minelord Gali Janardhan Reddy. CM H.D. Kumaraswamy cancelled his trip to Ballari at the last minute, but his father and former PM H.D. Deve Gowda attended the rally.
Mr Gowda conveyed his gratitude to voters for keeping communal forces out of Ballari by electing JD(S)-Congress combine candidate. “Victory of Ugrappa in Ballari is a sign that people across the country will reject communal forces in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
Endorsing the view of Mr Gowda, former CM and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said the winning streak of the coalition partners will continue in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections too. “I'm sure that we will win all 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka in the 2019 elections,” he said.
“I have no doubt that Mr Modi will go home after the Lok Sabha poll and a non-BJP government will be formed at Delhi,” he said.
In a sarcastic tone, Water Resources Minister and Ballari district in-charge D.K. Shivakumar remarked, “Sriramulu Anna said that Shanthamma (Sriramulu's sister and Ballari Lok Sabha by-poll BJP candidate Joladarashi Shanta) will go to Delhi on November 6 and I will go to jail. But, people of Ballari blessed Congress candidate V.S. Ugrappa instead,” he said adding that he will strive hard for the overall development of the district.
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