Staff Reporter

"Jayalalithaa has taken progressive steps"

KRISHNAGIRI: The decision of the Janata Dal (Secular) to ally with the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry is based on an ideological identity.

Like the JD(S), Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has taken a tough stand against both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, the former Prime Minister and party president, H.D. Deve Gowda, told presspersons here on Thursday. Referring to The Hindu-CNN-IBN poll, he said a very responsible media assessed the success of this new front. "It has given a clear picture in the States of Kerala and West Bengal. I am also of the same opinion, and there is no question of any ambiguity as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned. The progressive steps taken by Ms. Jayalalithaa to help the poor, the Dalits and the minorities would be one of the major contributing factors for the success of our alliance in the State. Though my party decided to go with the AIADMK about three months ago, it was postponed owing to my bad health," he said.

"Since 1999 when the Janata Dal split, our party has been maintaining equal distance from both the Congress and the BJP. In 1999 when we opposed both the parties, the people of Karnataka had not given the verdict in favour of any political party. The only option was whether to go in for polls again or to have some kind of understanding for a coalition with one of the parties. The high command decided to have an understanding with the Congress, based on a Common Minimum Programme... But the coalition was unable to work smoothly, and there were frictions."

On the political developments in Karnataka, he said it was a local arrangement made without the knowledge of the leadership of both the parties.