“The ordinance was withdrawn due to public sentiment and not because of one individual”

The former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, on Thursday criticised BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of “taking money from corrupt corporate houses to pursue a communal agenda.”

“Both these are dangerous to the country,” Mr. Gowda said.

Mr. Modi was consolidating people with the support of corporate funds, the Janata Dal (S) president said and alleged that the media was also supporting him.

Recalling his visit to the relief camps for Godhra victims [after the 2002 riots], Mr. Gowda said the victims threw stones at visiting politicians. After returning from the area, he had written to former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee seeking an impartial judicial probe.

Refusing to give credit to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for the withdrawal of ordinance on convicted lawmakers, he said it was withdrawn due to public sentiment and not because of any individual’s concern. All parties should have cooperated with the Supreme Court.

“The JD(S) opposed the ordinance from the beginning,” he claimed.

On the conviction of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad, he said: “Money and muscle power will not come to anyone’s rescue in the long run.”

On Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav meeting Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat to discuss a possible third front to fight the Lok Sabha elections, he said: “The formation of a third front is certain; there are several forces that are planning to fight the Congress and the BJP.”

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