The JD(S) supremo was in Hassan on Monday, Apr 19 to meet and convey his condolences to the family of a CRPF jawan Shivappa, who was one among the 76 security personnel butchered in a Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh on Apr 6.
Speaking to media personnel, Deve Gowda batted for the Naxalites, who he believes "fight for the rights of the common man".
The former PM also criticised the government's way of handling the Maoist issue and pressed for an all-party meet on the issue.
"The government should make efforts to understand the problems of the Naxalites and what they are fighting for. Instead of this, the government is trying to solve the issue with bullets, which won't work," Gowda said.
Several leaders even in the government have spoken defending the cause of the Maoists and Naxalites. However, the former Prime Minister's statement comes as a shock due to two reasons.
For one, the fact that the statement comes from someone of the stature of Deve Gowda, who once held the post of Prime Minister. And secondly, the situational context in which Mr Gowda made the statement hailing the Moaists' cause while on a visit to the home town of a slain jawan makes the remarks disrespectful and inappropriate.