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Gowda hits out at Congress

Written by: Staff

Mangalore, Sep 10 (UNI) Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda, who commended the JD(S)-BJP Government for no communal clashes in the State during its seven-month-old rule, today charged the Congress with having failed to act as a responsible Opposition party and watchdog.

Addressing a press conference here, he described the ruling and Opposition parties as two faces of the same coin and said the performance should be judged from both the angles. The Congress had disrupted the proceedings of the Legislature during the entire last session. ''Is this the way an Opposition party, represented by many senior leaders, functions,'' he asked.

Referring to the controversy over the reported remarks of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy that Madrasas in Karnataka have become active in terrorist activities, he clarified that Mr Kumaraswamy, during the recent Chief Minister's meeting in New Delhi, had only stated that according to reports he had received, some terrorist outfits had infiltrated into Karnataka to take up sabotage activities. The Chief Minister had also released his speech copy to the media. He had never said Madrasas were involved in sabotage activities. There was no problem to the State from the Muslim schools, he said.

Mr Gowda said the state government could follow the step of the previous Congress-JD(S) Government on the Datta Peeta issue. He was against appointing a Minister for conducting pooja at the peeta as done by the erstwhile Krishna Government.

The former Prime Minister criticised the UPA Government at the Centre for meting out stepmotherly treatment towards Karnataka regarding release of funds for taking up flood relief works, vis-a-vis Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

To a query, Mr Gowda said he did not want to interfere in the administration of the coalition Government in the State. ''Both JD(S) and BJP are running the Government based on the Karnataka Development Front programme. I don't want to put my hands on the issue of appointments to boards and corporations. The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister will solve the issue after mutual discussions.'' Declining to comment on his family's alleged land transactions and stamp paper scam kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi's narco analysis, he said ''I don't attach much importance to such allegations. My detractors have the habit of making charges against me and my family, now particularly on (my son) Kumaraswamy.'' UNI MA GD PR DB1854

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