ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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KARNATAKA-Urs Rides Again

KARNATAKA Urs Rides Again THE success of the Congrcss(I) in the recent elections to the Karnataka Assembly has been so complete that one wonders if even its most enthusiastic supporters expected it. The Congress(I) has won 151 seats in an Assembly of 224 with Janata, a poor second, securing only 59 seats. The Congress has been virtually wiped out winning just 3 seats. The people of Karnataka can claim that they have done the unexpected, Devaraj Urs had said that the Con- gress(l) would win 140 seats at least. He was reported to have remarked that had his ministry been in power, 160 seats would have been easy for bis party. Since he has never been chary of speaking about the role of money in elections he is also reported to have confessed that shortage of funds was a major handicap for him this notwithstanding the fact that his tenure of power has been described by some as the ultimate in corruption, Urs based his optimism on the following factors. He enjoyed the support of most of the backward castes and minorities who for years had been kept out of political power. The land reforms introduced by his ministry had benefited thousands of tenants. Similarly the debt liquidation legislation and the law freeing bonded labour had helped large numbers in the rural areas. On top of all this there was the 'charisma' of Indira Gandhi whose image, Urs rightly felt, was unsullied in the villages.

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