Deve Gowda refused security to visit Kandhamal; accuses BJP

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New Delhi, Sep 27 (UNI) Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) President H D Deve Gowda today charged the BJD-BJP Government in Orissa of declining to provide him security resulting in abandoning his visit to Kandhamal district which has seen recurring attacks on places of worship.

Addressing a rally at Jantar Mantar here, Mr Gowda said after the renewed attacks on minorities he expressed his intentions to visit Orissa but were told by the state government that they would not be able to ensure his security in the event of his visit.

"We chose to give up the visit, if this is the fate of former Prime Minister of this country", Mr Gowda said.

Describing the attacks on minorities by the Sangh Pariwar organisations as 'systematic', Mr Gowda said when the places of worship were attacked in Karnataka, he and his partymen alerted the state administration to act against the culprits but by and large the administration chose to ignore the intervention.

"In some instances arrests were made, but the officers were shunted out and cases were withdrawn in three days", he charged.

He said the Sangh Pariwar outfits were 'forcing' the dalits to return to the Hindu fold by asking them to reconvert to Hinduism.

They want to wish away the minorities for establishing a majority rule, without realising the consequences, he charged.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa promised to make Karnataka, Gujarat and he has fulfilled his promise in 100 days equalling Gujarat's dubious distinction of attacks on 30 places of worship, Mr Gowda charged.

He said it was strange that no functionary in Karnataka hosted Iftar dinner for the Muslim community during Ramzan. "When nobody -- the Governor or the Chief Minister -- offered Iftar for the Muslims, I thought it fit to organise such a dinner yesterday at Bangalore", he said.

The former PM charged the BJP of not learning anything from the 1998 Parliamentary vote in which the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Government was defeated by one vote. When minorities were attacked in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, Mr Vajpayee, instead of wielding the powers vested in him by the Constitution against the erring states, chose to sit in a 'prayaschitta dharna' in front of Rashtrapati Bhawan, he said, adding that it was nothing but a mockery.

However, he did not want to be disrespectful to Mr Vajpayee who was no longer in active politics.

On the role of the Union Government, he said the J D (S) chose to hold dharna in front of 'Raj Ghat', the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi, to highlight the attacks on minorities to make them 'wake up' to realities.

Several minority leaders including Delhi Archbishop Vincent Consssaso and Christian activist John Dayal attended the protest meeting.


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