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Nilekani joins Congress, to contest from Bangalore South

Posted on Mar 09 2014 | IANS

Bangalore, March 9 : Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani formally joined the Congress party here Sunday as a primary member to contest from the Bangalore South parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha election.

Congress state unit president G. Parameshwar admitted the 58-year-old Nilekani, who is also the chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), into the party in the presence of hundreds of cadres and leaders, amidst bursting of crackers and beating of drums at the party office in the city centre.

Dressed in casuals and sporting the famous Mysore turban, a beaming Nilekani thanked Parameshwar for admitting him into the party and permitting him to contest in the Lok Sabha election from his home constituency.

Nilekani will face BJP's candidate and five-time winner H.N. Ananth Kumar, who has been representing the constituency since 1996.

"I deem it as a privilege and honour to serve the people through the Congress. I am also humbled by the party's decision to field me from the Bangalore South constituency in the upcoming general elections," Nilekani told the media.

Nilekani's wife Rohini or his family members were conspicuously absent on the occasion.

Incidentally, Nilekani's name figured Saturday in the first list of candidates to contest the polls even before he became a party member.

Nilekani's entry into the party, however, was marked by chaos and unruly scenes as scores of party workers and supporters of local leaders gate-crashed into the party office hall and mobbed him on the dais.

In the excitement and frenzy that gripped the party leaders and cadres, Parameshwar and party's senior leader B.L. Shankar forgot to inform the media about the registration number of Nilekani's membership though he had signed the admission form in their presence.

The party's office-bearers scrambled to declare later that Nilekani was registered as the 121789th member of the party.

Parameshwar thanked party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi for nominating Nilekani to contest from Bangalore South, which is home to Infosys, Wipro and hundreds of software firms that put the tech hub on world map.

"As times are changing, we need reputed people like Nilekani to represent the Congress and contribute to the party's fortunes. It is important that people with clean image, well educated and forward looking enter politics to bring about revolutionary changes in the country for the welfare of the people," Parameshwar said welcoming the geek-turned bureaucrat.

Union Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan and state cabinet ministers B. Ramalinga Reddy and Dinesh Gundu Rao and the Congress lawmakers from the city assembly segments were present on the occasion.

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