Sonia Gandhi contested from Bellary Lok Sabha in 1999 as she defeated Sushma Swaraj with a record margin of 300,000 votes. Before she retained Amethi seat, she launched development projects worth Rs. 33 billion, drinking water supply development scheme, underground drainage scheme, initiated the building of Rajiv Gandhi commercial complex and many more. The fact that the party’s replacement candidate, Kolur Basavannagowda, easily won the by-election in February (2000) only proves that the faith of people of Bellary on Congress continued.
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