The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda has said that polarisation of votes on caste basis will only be a temporary phenomenon.
Addressing a press conference in Gulbarga on Tuesday, Mr. Deve Gowda refused to reply to questions pertaining to the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his Karnataka Janata Party and said that caste-based politics would not have any bearing in the 2013 Assembly elections.
On the poll prospects of his party, Mr. Deve Gowda said that it was for the people to decide the fate of the Janata Dal (S).
Mr. Deve Gowda, who met a large number of people, including prospective party candidates and their supporters, accepted applications from them for party ticket from different constituencies.
He said that he was on a visit to Gulbarga district to meet party workers and not to select party candidates.
He said that the question of denying party ticket to those with a criminal background would be taken into consideration at the time of selection of candidates. On the wave of protests in New Delhi demanding stringent laws to punish those accused of rape, Mr. Deve Gowda said that the anguish and anger that followed the gang-rape in New Delhi were genuine and spontaneous. However, punishment to those accused should be delivered as per the law of the land, he said.
He reiterated that political parties supporting the agitation should not undermine the democratic process.
Mr. Deve Gowda expressed doubts over the seriousness of the raids conducted by the Lokayukta on the properties belonging to Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa and said that when compared with the raids conducted on his and his son’s houses based on a private complaint by the Lokayukta, it did not seem right.
“We will have to wait and see what follow-up action will the Lokayukta take,” Mr. Deve Gowda said. On whether Mr. Eshwarappa should step down as Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Deve Gowda said that it was for the BJP leadership to take a decision.