Gowda to go with Left in LS polls but face Karnataka bypolls alone

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New Delhi, Aug 21 (UNI) Stating that there was no ambiguity regarding Janata Dal (Secular) alliance with the Left and the UNPA for the Lok Sabha general elections, party chief and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda today announced to face Karnataka bypolls on its own as there was no 'proper response' from the Congress and the Samajwadi Party.

Talking to newspersons after a luncheon meeting with the Left party leaders, who were at his residence to discuss the latest political developments, Mr Gowda told reporters that going with the Left parties in the Lok Sabha polls was a 'settled issue'. He said JD(S) in Kerala was a 'natural ally' of the Left and the party had resolved its differences with the Kerala unit paving way for the smooth alliance at the national level also.

He said he had given an offer to all secular parties including the Congress and the Samajwadi Party in Karnataka to join hands to defeat the 'communal forces' in the byelections to teach the betrayers a lesson as the 'Operation Lotus' of the ruling BJP resulted in seven elected MLAs giving up their assembly seats. The JD(S) had lost five of its members in the process and could not wait endlessly in the absence of response from the Congress which too had lost two of its MLAs, he said.

He came down heavily on BJP National president Rajnath Singh for aiming to increase his party's strength to 125 MLAs in Karnataka assembly by wooing MLAs from other parties. ''It is shameful that he is asking his party ministers to vacate their posts to accomodate MLAs from other parties. It was 'immoral and unethical' on the part of BJP's national president to come out with such a call.'' Asked about his son and former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's reported moves with the Congress leaders recently in Delhi for facing the bypolls in an alliance, Mr Gowda retorted, ''This is my decision and I am his father. Why should JD(S) keep quiet when nobody responds to my call. We will contest all seats.'' He said after his call, Mr Kumaraswamy and his counterpart in the Legislative Council M C Nanaiah have had review meetings with party workers in the constituencies where byelections are to be held.

Asked if there was any possibility of accomodating BSP in the bypolls, Mr Gowda asked back, ''when we are fighting all the bypolls where is the scope for any other party?'' Answering a question regarding the Hogenakkal controversy, Mr Gowda said he would not join issue with anyone in Karnataka.

During the United Front regime, when he was the PM, the Centre had offered to build a storage reservoir on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border to take care of water needs in the downstream. The power generated would go to the Central grid since the Union Government had borne the cost. This proposal was not acceptable to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who held the same post during that time.

Now Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wanted the project in the garb of drinking water project and the Centre was totally dependent on his support.

In any case, the matter was before the Supreme Court, he would not like to make any comments, he said.

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