Showcasing the “pro-people” programmes implemented during his tenure as Prime Minister and Chief Minister, Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda appealed to women to support the party in the Lok Sabha elections, at a well-attended convention held here on Wednesday.

Mr. Deve Gowda at the same time did not mince words in criticising both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for their “anti-people, anti-women and anti-peasant” policies.

Aiming to please the women attending the convention, he asked the men who occupied the dais, to vacate their seats for women elected representatives. He also lent an ear to them. He promised to include major problems being faced by them in the election manifesto.

Similarly, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy also presented a pretty picture of programmes implemented for the welfare of women during his 20-month tenure in office, and attacked the previous BJP and present Congress governments for lifting the ban on prohibition of liquor and discretely supporting one-line lottery, which are detrimental to women, especially in rural areas.

The former MLA Anitha Kumaraswamy recalled the contributions of the JD(S) for women and said recent incidents against women across the country were a reflection of the Congress’ failure to protect them.

Mr. Deve Gowda said the post-delivery allowance was initiated by him and he had launched many other welfare programmes for them. “The present government has no courtesy to acknowledge the good things done during the JD(S) tenure,” he said.

Mr. Gowda also claimed that it was during his tenure that the amendment for women’s reservation was mooted. “Sitting almost a decade on the amendment, Congress vice-president is now speaking on extending reservation to women,” he said. Besides targeting the Chief Minister, Mr. Kumaraswamy criticised the BJP and asked how the BJP could seek votes based on the achievements of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, instead of what the party had done during its five-year regime in the State.

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