‘Government formation not the only issue before it’

Janata Dal (Secular) national president and the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda has said that a third alternative will emerge after the Lok Sabha elections.

He told The Hindu that the third alternative would not emerge in the present scenario which was marked by confusion on seat-sharing among the constituent parties, with each regional party wanting to bag the maximum number of seats. There were problems over seat-sharing in every State, he said.

The recent meeting attended by nine constituents of the alternative front decided to leave the issue of seat-sharing to regional parties. “This doesn’t mean the end of the alternative front. Regional parties have their own experienced leaders and they will act after the elections,” Mr. Gowda said.

The question of forming the government at the Centre was not the only issue before the political alternative. “If in case we do not get the numbers to form the government, we will sit as a bloc and fight issues collectively,” he said.

Accusing the Congress of destabilising regional parties, he said the tally of the Left parties, which supported the United Progressive Alliance government in its first term, was reduced from 63 in 2004 to 23 in 2009. Similarly, the Congress did everything to destabilise the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, he said.

On the strategy in Karnataka, Mr. Gowda said the JD(S) would project the benefits that people could garner from regional parties. The JD(S) would approach the electorate with the question “Whether a regional party is necessary to protect the interests of the State?”

Mr. Gowda, who will launch the party’s campaign on Wednesday, said he would attempt to convince the electorate that Karnataka, which got a raw deal for voting national parties to power, could get its pound of flesh only if regional parties were favoured in the present coalition era.

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