Deve Gowda for early elections in Karnataka without delay

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) Terming the decision to accept Delimitation Commission report by the Union Cabinet as ''motivated'', Janata Dal (Secular) President H D Deve Gowda today said the Assembly polls in Karnataka could still be held before May 28 without extending President's rule.

On the Cabinet's decision to approve the delimitation orders notified by the Delimitation Commission, Mr Gowda told newspersons that he believed in the repeated promises of Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur that the elections would be held well before the schedule.

''Now that the Cabinet has taken the decision to accept the Delimitation Commission, I believe there is 'some motive' behind the decision. Let them have one more experiment,'' he remarked.

He said if the Government was sincere, it could have held the Assembly elections in Karnataka along with some North-Eastern states. In the present 'era of software', it would not take very long for the authorities to regroup the voters list of the newly constituted constituencies and hold elections and such an exercise would not take very long, he added.

The motive behind the government decision was ''known to all'' as it had its own compulsions he said, adding that he would not make any attribution towards the Election Commission, a constitutional body.

The JD (S) feels there may be attempts to club both the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in November. Under such circumstances, both the Congress and the BJP would be in a position to face both elections and the decision was aimed at elbowing the regional player -- the JD (S) which could not match the resources of the two national parties.

As far as the JD (S) was concerned, it was fighting both the Congress and the BJP, the principal ruling and opposition parties at the national level. ''Even if I raise my voice it will not be heard. I raised my voice in the Standing Committee of the Railways Ministry, what is the outcome,'' he lamented.

He said it was the ''misfortune'' of people of Karnataka that they did not have proper representatives in the Government to fight their issues in the administration. While the people tend to view everything with a ''caste bias'' development, progress of the state was a ''direct casualty'', he remarked.

Indirectly blaming the caste-centred polity for the sad state of affairs and neglect of Karnataka's interests, he said while he was derided and attacked openly by TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu and others for helping the state at the national level when the United Front was in power, one particular group in his home state was bursting crackers celebrating the fall of his government sheerly out of ''caste feelings''. Without taking the name of any caste, he also recalled how people in north-Karnataka weighed former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with gold but still did not get anything for the Upper Krishna Project.

Mr Gowda, who was the Prime Minster during 1995-96, said the NDA and UPA governments had continued with few of many of the pro-people's programmes initiated during his tenure like Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme, village roads programme.


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