Why are Manmohan, Sonia silent on Karunanidhi’s statement, asks Gowda

Staff Correspondent

Third Front will form next government: Gowda

“No electoral understanding with Congress”

HASSAN: The former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, on Thursday expressed surprise over the silence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s statement that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran is his friend.

Talking to reporters at Chennaraypatna in Hassan district, he pointed out that the deadline given by Colombo to Prabakaran to surrender was over. “We have to wait and see what is going to happen. We do not know whether he had run away or committed suicide. Now I cannot comment on this.”

Asked whether Mr. Karunanidhi was using the LTTE issue for getting political mileage, Mr. Gowda said, “The LTTE was born politically and would die politically.”

Mr. Gowda recalled the struggle of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and pointed out that Mr. Mandela fought against apartheid, imprisoned for more than 30 years and then he got success.

Not in the race

The Janata Dal (Secular) chief reiterated that he was not in the race for the prime minister post and was confident that Third Front would form the next government at the Centre. If the Front came to power, it would ban communal organisations such as the Bajrang Dal and Sri Rama Sene.

Referring to the case filed by the former Governor and High Court Chief Justice Rama Jois in the Supreme Court to cancel reservation in local bodies, Mr. Gowda said Mr. Rama Jois is a legal luminary. Though Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa announced that Mr. Jois’s action had nothing to do with the BJP, it was like a cat drinking milk closing its eyes.

Mr. Gowda expressed concern at the deteriorating political scenario in the country. The way in which Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, despite being a coalition partner in the UPA, objected to the announcement of prime ministerial candidate by the UPA clearly showed that the political system was off the track.

Referring to use of money power in elections, he said that instead of the “red” note (Rs. 1000 note), now political parties were giving gift coupons. On disappearance of names of some minorities in the voting list in Bangalore, he said the Election Commission gave sufficient time to people to enrol their names in electoral rolls but it was not done. He urged the Election Commission to give them another opportunity to enrol their names. Mr. Gowda said there was no truck between the Congress and the JD(S).

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