The former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, has warned that the Congress may suffer the same kind of defeat as it did in the recent Assembly elections in four States if it does not take corrective steps urgently.

Price rise, neglect of farmers and their issues, the plight of the common man, particularly those in the middle and lower sections, and bad economic policies forced the people to turn against the Congress, he said.

Talking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Mr. Gowda, whose Janata Dal (Secular) has been extending outside support to the UPA government, said nothing happened after he appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to see about the plight of farmers. He even met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and urged her to convene a meeting to be attended by Dr. Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and himself. “But it was never convened.”

On the Telangana issue, Mr. Gowda said he backed YSR Congress president Jagan Mohan Reddy’s argument that a State should not be divided without the consent of two-thirds of its MLAs.

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