Quick end to Gowda's strike

Quick end to Gowda's strike

CM promises to hold review meet

Yes boss!: Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda in conversation with party leaders Y S V Datta, A T Ramaswamy and others at a parking lot near the Chief Minister’s Race Course Road residence in Bangalore on Monday. DH PhotoGowda, who began his agitation from his home constituency Hassan to highlight the ‘apathy’ of the Yeddyurappa government towards the district, defied the prohibitory orders imposed by the Government around Yeddyurappa’s official residence on Race Course Road.

Arguing that less than five individuals could stage a protest when the prohibitory orders are enforced, the former prime minister managed to stage his four-hour hunger strike at the parking lot of the High Grounds police station, right next to the Chief Minister’s residence.

The JD(S) leader started his protest by garlanding the Mahatma Gandhi statue near Anand Rao Circle and made his way towards Yeddyurappa’s residence, only to be stopped by the police in front of the High Grounds police station.

Here, senior police officers who tried to persuade Gowda to withdraw his protest were, however, forced to permit him to make his way towards the parking lot, when Gowda defended on technical grounds.

Gowda, accompanied by former MLA A T Ramaswamy, former Rajya Sabha member Javare Gowda and MLA Puttegowda, seated himself on the footpath while the police formed a human barricade by encircling the four protestors.

In the meanwhile, eight JD(S) leaders, including MLA H D Revanna and Hassan MLAs H K Kumaraswamy and Shivalinge Gowda, who tried to make their way towards the CM’s residence, were whisked away by the police to the Ashoknagar police station.

Revanna said  the BJP government was mirroring double standards. “When Baba Ramdev was evicted from his protest site, the BJP had created a hullabaloo. Only four of the JD(S) MLAs wanted to meet the chief minister and submit a memorandum, but Yeddyurappa has created an emergency situation by issuing the prohibitory orders,” he said.

Around 12.15 noon, Yeddyurappa’s principal secretary I S N Prasad, secretary N Lakshminarayan, joint secretary Dayashankar and other senior officials arrived at the spot and requested Gowda to end his fast.

But, Gowda sent them back demanding a letter from Yeddyurappa, to convene a review meeting on Hassan district. 

The officials returned by 2.15 pm with a letter from Yeddyurappa, undersigned by Prasad.
“Yeddyurappa has agreed to convene a review meeting at the Hassan deputy commissioner’s office. The letter, however, does not specify a date. If Yeddyurappa does not hold the meeting before July 3, then I will launch an indefinite hunger strike,” threatened Gowda and left the venue.

Former PM’s demands

In his memorandum to the Chief Minister, Deve Gowda has alleged that all development works initiated during former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy’s time had been stalled by the BJP government. Gowda put forth 15 demands, including the release of Rs 70 crore for Hassan Medical college; Rs 8.5 crore for upgrading the district hospital; Rs 5.5 crore for the Agriculture college; completion of road works, provision of a 220-KV station for power supply to Arsikere taluk, compensation to potato farmers reeling under losses, and release of Rs 10 cr for drinking water supply to the district.

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