Deve Gowda defends JD(S)decision to boycott all-party delegation

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New Delhi, Jul 2 (UNI) Janata Dal (Secular) president and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda today defended his party's decision not to be part of the all party delegation led by Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and said fertilizer shortage was not an issue that merited such a huge delegation.

Reacting to the angry comments of Chief Minister accusing him of playing political gimmicks, Mr Gowda told UNI that it was the BJP government which had set a new trend of taking all-party delegations on issues that could have been settled without taking a delegation.

The JD(S) believed that only two issues merited all-party support seeking classical language status to Karnataka and amending the Article 371 of the Constitution providing for regional reservation for backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region.

He did not agree with the figures on fertilizer stock position in Karnataka and said the figures he had were different from the official figures of Fertiliser Ministry. "If there shortage was so acute, why was Secretary of Fertilisers not called by PM during the meeting?" He asked.

Mr Gowda said the JD(S) did not want to be part of the delegation because the Chief Minister had threatened to sit on a dharna before the Prime Minister's House in the state assembly. ''It is an issue that could have been handled by one official visit of chief minister.'' He said he was watching all the developments and former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy would be raising all the issues in the Assembly when it reassembles again.

UNI MCN PK RK2200

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