Special Correspondent

JD(S) manifesto in a couple of days

Candidates list on April 1 or 2

GULBARGA: The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Wednesday took a dig at the Congress for announcing Manmohan Singh as its prime ministerial candidate.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Gowda said the Third Front was not bothered about the announcement of the prime ministerial candidates by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Mr. Gowda wanted to know why the Congress did not announce its prime ministerial candidate prior to the 2004 general elections. Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s statement that there were many leaders in the Congress with prime ministerial qualities only proves the growing infighting among senior leaders in the Congress, he said.

“What has happened to the UPA now, how many political parties are with it and what are the reasons for these desertions?” Mr. Gowda asked.

He termed the promises made in the manifesto released by the Congress on Tuesday as a “copy of the decisions taken and implemented by the Janata Dal Government in the State earlier”.

Coming down heavily on the Congress for its “sudden” love for women and announcement that it would reserve one-third of posts for women in Central Government jobs, Mr. Gowda said that in 1995 when the Janata Dal was in power in the State, Karnataka was the first State to provide reservation for women in panchayatiraj institutions and urban local bodies.

Mr. Gowda said that the Janata Dal (Secular) would come out with its manifesto in a couple of days. He said the final list of the party would be announced either on April 1 or 2 after completing the tour of all the constituencies. “We have not announced the official candidate of the party in any of the 28 constituencies in the State. We have left the Mangalore seat to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Chikmagalur-Udupi seat to the Communist Party of India.” He, however, hastened to add that he had announced the candidature of Subash Malgi in Bidar Lok Sabha constituency after consulting the local leaders.