KARNATAKA

Deve Gowda hints at realignment of parties

MYSORE, APRIL 24. The former Prime Minister and the Janata Dal (Secular) President, H.D. Deve Gowda, today hinted at the realignment of regional parties and non-communal forces after the elections.

He also dismissed speculations that he would support any alliance incorporating the Congress or the BJP in case of a hung Parliament. But he hastened to add that anybody seeking the support of the Janata Dal (S) would have to implement its manifesto as part of a national agenda. "However, it is premature to talk about post-poll alliances until the results are out," Mr. Deve Gowda added. Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Deve Gowda dismissed exit poll and opinion poll results in the press as inaccurate. "It is the same section of the media which was speculating that I may be colluding with Mr. Krishna to ensure the victory of the Congress in the State," he remarked when his attention was drawn to a panel discussion on a news channel in which it was reported that Mr. Deve Gowda was helping the Congress.

"This amounted to questioning my political credentials," he said.

"The Janata Dal (S) was emerging to be united and strong far from going to pieces as being portrayed in the media. Our self-confidence has increased after the second phase of campaigning,'' Mr. Deve Gowda added.

He flayed the BJP and the Congress for misleading the people through far-fetched promises in their election manifestoes and accused the two of "looting the coffers of the country." Coming down on the NDA Government for its "India Shining" campaign, Mr. Deve Gowda said the tragedy in Lucknow where more than 20 women died in a stampede to collect saris, reflected the ground reality and the rural poverty.

"These are the people who do not know the ground reality of the country but have ruled the nation all these years. Their manifestoes have been scripted by people who are ignorant of the economic conditions of the people," Mr. Deve Gowda said.

Likewise, he criticised the Congress in the State and wondered why it had failed to distribute rice to the poor at subsidised rates all these years but promised to do so in the future. "Perhaps, it is only now that they have realised the extent of rural poverty in the countryside," he added.

Reacting to the violence in Nagamangala taluk in Mandya district, Mr. Deve Gowda said the State police had been reduced to mere onlookers when the Congress had brought busloads of anti-social elements and unleashed violence. The law and order situation had collapsed and if the State had to emerge as a safe place then the Congress Government must go. The law and order situation in Karnataka is worse than in Bihar, he said.

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