In an emotional appeal to strengthen the Janata Dal (Secular) with Lok Sabha elections around the corner, the party national president and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Friday said he was “reluctantly” contesting from Hassan for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The 82-year-old JD(S) leader said he was not at all keen on contesting for an MP seat.
“However, on account of the existing political situation, and for the future of this nation, I am contesting this time. It is also imperative for the survival of the party,” he said. Gowda, who is a five-time MP, will be seeking a sixth time re-election from Hassan for the Lok Sabha elections.
At a convention of all JD(S) leaders from across the State, Gowda said the JD(S) was fighting for its survival and that it will depend upon the strength which the party leaders will show at the upcoming elections.
He attacked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for having ‘deserted’ the JD(S) which propelled his political career and then making claims of being an Ahinda leader. “The man who ate rice from our party (meaning well benefited) plate is now a big man and speaking against us,” he ridiculed.
Gowda said most of the leaders who have left the JD(S) or those who are in the process of leaving, were supposed to build the party but have completely betrayed it.
The former prime minister slammed both the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the AICC vice- president Rahul Gandhi for “making tall claims but having no vision for the country”. Party leader H D Kumaraswamy sent across a message to the people of Karnataka that they should vote for Deve Gowda, who is present in the State, rather than vote for Modi who will be sitting in New Delhi.
“Our call will be ‘Karnataka Ulisi’ (Save Karnataka). None of the two national parties is showing any interest in the development of Karnataka. While one is attempting to save India, the other is busy projecting the youth of the nation. But both of them are not bothered about Karnataka,” he said.
Two women candidates likely
JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda said the party will make room for at least two women candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
While his daughter-in-law Anita Kumaraswamy is most likely to contest from Bangalore Rural constituency again, speculations are rife on the second woman candidate. Gowda said: “We can even ask Cheluvarayaswamy to field his wife. I am sure he can ensure a win.” However, it is said the party may settle for a woman candidate for Shimoga seat. Party’s Soraba MLA Madhu Bangarappa has been asked to field a candidate of his choice. And, in all probability, a woman member of his family may enter the fray.