Says Third Front will emerge as a powerful alternative to Congress, BJP
He has toured 90 villages in Hassan district
Popularity of Congress said to be on the wane
HASSAN: The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Friday appealed to the people to vote for the Janata Dal (Secular) in the second phase of the elections so that the Third Front could prove to be an alternative force to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. He said nobody could prevent the Third Front from coming to power and felt confident that a leader from one of its constituents would become Prime Minister.
Addressing presspersons at Sakleshpur, Mr. Deve Gowda, after campaigning in 90 villages, said the Third Front was formed with a view to give the country a better political alternative. He said that as he had to tour the entire State, he had less time for campaigning in Hassan. Mr. Deve Gowda conducted road shows in Palya, Sakleshpur, Hethhur, Hanabalu, Onaguru, Janekere, and Shettyhalli — all in Sakleshpur taluk — while in surrounding villages, he made brief speeches. He asked people to vote as it was their right.
Mr. Deve Gowda said: “I do not rule out the fact that the poor voter turnout in the 17 constituencies in the State in the first phase of polling was owing to the absence of the educated middle class. People below the poverty line and other backward classes have exercised their franchise. Who will benefit from this pattern is difficult to guess. People now seem fed up with the BJP. The party is likely to be shown its place soon,” he said.
Mr. Deve Gowda denounced poll surveys conducted by the media. He recalled that in 2004, surveys predicted that the BJP would get 370 seats and would form the Government on its own. But, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance came to power.
He said the Congress had now become weak and that there was no hope for a revival. “Lalu Prasad of the Rashtriya Janata Dal too has parted ways. Mulayam Singh of the Samajwadi Party is also drifting away. So also is the case with Lok Jan Shakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party. Shibu Soren of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha is also not with the Congress. Except for Kerala, the Congress does not stand much of a chance. Its popularity has come down in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. If it wins more than 130 seats, only then can it talk business. Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party, who has also laid claim to the country’s topmost job, is now a serious competitor. With so many non-Congress parties vying for power, the Congress’s chances do not seem too bright,” he claimed.