‘It is impossible to reap political benefits by dividing society’

Stating that Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister was just a dream, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, on Monday commented that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) did not have votes of all Indians in its pocket.

“It is impossible to reap political benefits by dividing society on the lines of either caste or religion,” he said, addressing a press conference here.

People of the country would decide who would be the Prime Minister. “Nobody can put an end to secularism that has been prevailing in the country for ages with political interests,” he said.

Mr. Gowda added that the Congress did not have its pockets filled with votes of 130 crore people either. “The Congress has no base in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Similarly, in many States its presence is negligible,” he said. Later speaking to presspersons in Chikmagalur, Mr. Gowda said: “Nobody can become Prime Minister only by bursting crackers in front of the BJP office in New Delhi.”

Copra procurement

He said that he had appealed to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to extend the time to procure copra at centres, established by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), to help coconut growers suffering because of dip in copra prices.

“Mr. Pawar has agreed, and the duration for procuring copra has been extended by two more weeks. Otherwise, it should have ended today (September16),” he said.

Mr. Gowda said that the Centre had sent a team to assess the loss suffered by coconut growers due to drought-like situation in several parts, including Channarayapatna and Arsikere taluks in Hassan.

“The committee headed by Dr. Gorakh Singh, Commissioner of Horticulture, had submitted its report. It is only a random survey. Now, the State government has to conduct a detail survey to assess the actual loss,” he said.

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