OTHERS

Congress accused of helping communal forces

Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: Janata Dal (Secular) President H.D. Deve Gowda said here on Saturday that if the Congress wants to end its ties with his party, it means that they (Congressmen) want to encourage the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the State.

Mr. Gowda was reacting to the statement made by some Congress leaders in Tumkur at a meeting of the party workers here on Friday.

Mr. Gowda, who address a meeting of Janata Dal (S) workers, said if there is coalition government in the State, it is because of the hanging mandate of the people in the last election. The Janata Dal (Secular) joined hands with the Congress to prevent the "communal forces" from coming to power. Besides, his party did not want to give scope for another immediate election. The Congress wanted his party as coalition partner in the State.

The "communal forces", including the Bhajrang Dal, are attempting to strengthen their base in the coastal belt. The Home portfolio in the State is under the control of the Congress. If the Congress wants, it can curb the communal forces. But it is not doing so. This attitude is conveying a wrong signal to the police force.

Mr. Deve Gowda said if the Congress leaders want to distance from the Janata Dal (secular) by issuing such statements, they will be giving scope for the communal forces to come to power. He said that some Congress leaders have given the credit to the party for giving rice at Rs. 3 a kg and providing loan to farmers at 6 per cent interest through cooperative societies. If the Congress could do it in Karnataka why not the same party implement it in other States ruled by it. The Congress is ruling in 11 other States in the country. Mr. Gowda wanted to know why the party has failed to implement the same in those States. The former Prime Minister alleged that the Congress has made attempts to lure leaders from the Janata Dal (Secular), Janata Dal (United) and the neutral group of the Janata Pariwar to its fold.

Mr. Gowda called upon the party workers to forget their differences at the local level if any and face the coming panchayat raj elections. The fight is against the BJP and the Congress.

Philomena Peres, former chairperson of State Women's Commission, who joined the party recently, spoke.