JD (S) ready to face people: Deve Gowda

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New Delhi, Oct 6: Within hours of the BJP withdrawing its support to the JD (S) led coalition, party supremo and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda today said the party will take all necessary steps to reach out to the people.

Talking to newspersons after an hour long Political Affairs Committee meeting, Mr Gowda felt that after his party had formed coalition with both Congress and the BJP during the term and there can be no alternative but to go before the people. ''Should there be an election in the state is a question that should be answered by the Election Commission. As a political party, the party had to be ready to face elections not just in the state but at the national level.'' he said "We can't shut our eyes to realities. Will the Central government last its full term"? He asked back.

He remained non-committal about the JD (S) seeking support for the government from the Congress saying it was up to his son and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to take that decision. "There is no question of opening communication channels with anybody because people are our final arbitrators", he said.

Mr Gowda was taken aback by tough and personal questions from the media. One of them being "Can you be trusted?". After an initial hesitation, the former Prime Minister replied in a lower tone "It is going to be decided by people". Similar was his answer to another uncomfortable question "Have you regained secular credentials from October three?,'' the day the party should have handed over power to the people.

Mr Gowda accused the senior BJP leaders of not showing basic courtesy to respond to his letters written to them from time to time on the issue of Sangh Pariwar 'elements' whipping up communal frenzy in Datta Peetha, a pilgrim centre in Karnataka.

Although Mr Kumaraswamy did attend the PAC meeting, he avoided speaking to the media both yesterday and today.

To a question on the relevance of convening the Legislature Session on October 18 if he was not seeking support from the Congress, Mr Gowda was reminded of his own experience in Delhi where he faced the Parliament on April 11, 1997 when he had to resign from the post after Congress withdrew its support on March 30 1997. I was able to explain to the people and similarly Mr Swamy will explain his humiliating experiences in the Assembly, he reasoned.

Mr Gowda denied that he had sought BJP's support for continuing their support for his son's continuance as Chief Minister. The resolution adopted by the party said that considering the overwhelming sentiments of the legislators and party workers, right from the grass roots level, the party was constrained to recommend to the state party not to transfer power to the BJP to maintain peace and communal harmony in the state.

The party defended Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's decision to unilaterally align with the BJP when some members of the Congress were engineering defection. The party had suspended all the legislators including Chief Minister but subsequently revoked when they explained the 'compelling reasons' that forced them to take extreme and extra-ordinary step to save the party from division and destruction by the Congressmen in Karnataka.

The resolution said the Chief Minister continued to bear the cross silently stomoching all the humiliation heaped on him and his family members only to avoid burdening the people with another election and provide all opportunities to coalition partner to mend its ways, He had crushed with iron hands all attempts of the Sangh Pariwar to whip up communal frenzy.

It was for first time in the history of the world a minister had filed an FIR against the Chief Minister accusing him of attempt to murder and his party leaders at the state and national levels did not utter a word of condemnation, the resolution said. It is obvious that the BJP was unnerved by the growing popularity of the Chief Minister due to his pro-poor, pro-minorities and pro-people policies and personal bonding with people was reflected in the outcome of the recent elections to civic bodies. In view of the attempts of the BJP to defame and discredit the Chief Minister, his family members and national party president by the pariwar outfits were trying to turn Karnataka into a 'Hindutva laboratory' like Gujarat, the resolution alleged.

UNI

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