OTHERS

Deve Gowda vows to oust Krishna govt.

BANGALORE, NOV. 1. The former Prime Minister, and Janata Dal (S) President, Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda has said that he will not rest until the S.M. Krishna government is dismissed, and a ``people- friendly'' government is installed in the State.

At the culmination of a five-day padayatra which he undertook from Vitlenahalli (near Channapatna) to Bangalore in support of the farmers' cause, Mr. Deve Gowda minced no words in stating that Mr. Krishna had lost the trust of the people and should be removed without further loss of time.

Mr. Deve Gowda walked the 80-km. distance in ``mauna'' (silence), covering around 20 km. a day. At the start of the padayatra on Sunday, he said he would make a major announcement in Bangalore on Thursday. About a fortnight ago, while addressing the aggrieved farmers of Vitlenahalli where two people died in police firing, he had vowed that unless the Government mended it ways, he would resort to a direct agitation.

Mr. Deve Gowda called for the removal of Mr. Krishna at a well- attended rally of farmers who had come from various parts of the State. Before arriving at the venue of the meeting, the former Prime Minister, who was visibly exhausted after the strenuous 80- km. padayatra, garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi en route.

He said he would expose the misdeeds of the Krishna government, including corruption cases. ``I have now come to the streets and will not rest until I achieve my goal. I will bring out all the skeletons from the Congress cupboard.''

Mr. Deve Gowda, who refrained from making several other announcements because of the forthcoming elections to the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, said the JD(S) would stage a ``Raj Bhavan Chalo'' on November 7. The agenda for the programme would be revealed only on that day. A series of agitations would be launched all over the State from November 18.

He also hinted that he would expose the ``nexus'' between the Chief Minister and the Cooperation Minister, Mr. D.K. Shivakumar, whom the JD(S) has held responsible for the police firing at Vitlenahalli. ``When the Chief Minister can demand and accept the resignation of Mr. T. John for a relatively flimsy reason, why is he protecting Mr. Shivakumar? It is this aspect which needs to be exposed, and I will do it.''

The former Deputy Chief Minister and President of the JD(S) State unit, Mr. Siddaramaiah said, ``Mr. Shivakumar's voice is `his master's voice' (Mr. Krishna's). While tapping and sale of neera has been going on for several months all along the Mysore- Bangalore road, why did the police pick on Vitlenahalli alone and resort to firing in the early hours of the day? Not one of the ministers visited the village after the incident. Therefore, the Chief Minister has no moral right to continue in office.''

The Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Mr. K.H. Srinivasa, said the NDA Government at the Centre did not care for national interests and was apparently more keen on selling public assets to multinational companies. ``The Prime Minister is only an `utsava murthy' (yes-man), while the god in the sanctum sanctorum is the RSS. Both the NDA government at the Centre and the Congress government in the State should be removed in the interests of the people.''

Mr. Srinivasa claimed the Krishna government would have collapsed soon after the Vitlenahalli police firing but for the intervention of Mr. Deve Gowda who pleaded with the agitated farmers to perform the last rites of the dead farmers. Instead of expressing his gratitude, Mr. Krishna had poked fun at Mr. Deve Gowda.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Mr. G. Chandranna, President, Bangalore Rural district unit of the party, Mr. Suryanarayana Rao, President of the CPI(M) State unit, Mr. M.C. Venkataramu, CPI State unit Secretary, Mr. Pugazendi, General Secretary of the AIADMK State unit, Mr. Basavaraj Bommai, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, and Mr. M. Srinivas, former MP.

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