B. Shivaram, president of the Hassan District Congress Committee and former Minister, came down on the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Saturday, accusing him of adopting “cheap tricks” to woo voters in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls.

He criticised Mr. Gowda for visiting coconut farms now though the growers had been facing problems for many years.

Mr. Shivaram told presspersons that for six to seven years farmers of Arsikere and Channarayapatna taluks had been facing huge losses owing to moisture stress following depletion of water table. “The former Prime Minister has discovered only now that the farmers are in distress. Why was he silent all these years,” he sought to know.

Referring to Mr. Gowda’s visit to the house of a man who was killed in an elephant attack in Sakleshpur taluk, on Saturday, Mr. Shivaram said 53 people had died in elephant attacks in the last two decades in the district. However, Mr. Gowda found time to respond to the woes of people constantly affected by wild elephants only now.

To a query on long-pending improvement of the Hassan-Dudda-Tiptur Road, Mr. Shivaram said the work was not taken up because of “vindictive politics” of JD(S) leaders.

More In: Karnataka | National