The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda said on Saturday that he would contest the coming Lok Sabha election from Hassan.

“I had thought of not contesting the election as it entails a lot of travelling. But, I decided to contest after taking into consideration the opinion of party workers in Hassan,” he told reporters after a meeting to review the Union government-sponsored schemes in the Hassan Zilla Panchayat.

Mr. Gowda said the Janata Dal (Secular) would field candidates in all 28 constituencies in the State. “The party will fight the elections independently. I will travel across the State garnering support,” he said, and added that his tour would begin by October 20.

To a question on the demand for resignation of Minister of State Information Santosh Lad for his alleged involvement in illegal mining, Mr. Gowda said there was no doubt that Mr. Lad’s name figured in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining. “I will leave the issue to the Chief Minister’s discretion,” he said.

Meeting

At the meeting he directed officials to make better utilisation of funds sanctioned under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for development works in rural areas.

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