Special Correspondent

Party threatens to launch struggle in support of the demand

Call for fresh election in KarnatakaV.P. Singh backs demand for quota in private sector

Bangalore: The Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party should end their "unholy alliance," quit office and hold Assembly elections in the State, demanded the All-India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD) at its rally here on Tuesday.

The rally, which was attended by former Prime Minister V.P. Singh, also demanded that the Centre enforce reservation in the private sector and in its institutions of higher learning. If the Centre failed to do so, the AIPJD would launch a struggle in support of the demand.

The rally, "Mannina Mahajanara Samavesha," organised by former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was meant to be a backward class challenge to Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda and his son, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

At the rally, the first one organised by the AIPJD after the party was rejuvenated recently, most of the speakers referred to the need for reservation in the private sector. The occasion also provided a platform for Mr. Siddaramaiah and AIPJD national president C.M. Ibrahim, who have been suspended from the JD(S), to launch a no-holds-barred attack on Mr. Deve Gowda.

Most of the speakers criticised Mr. Deve Gowda's demand for a reclassification of the State's list of backward classes, targeting the Kuruba and Idiga communities. The proposal of the AIPJD to launch a movement for reservation in the private sector was supported by former Prime Minister V.P. Singh and former Union Agriculture Minister Ajit Singh. They said it was illogical to state that if reservations were introduced in higher educational institutions, merit would suffer. On the contrary, ensuring social justice would ensure economic equality.

Mr. Singh said he had to step down as Prime Minister because he insisted on the implementation of the Mandal Commission report on reservation for other backward classes.