Mandya people deserved relief package, not laddoos: Gowda

JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda said on Thursday that Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi should have announced a relief package for sugarcane and coconut farmers in the Cauvery basin, instead of distributing laddoos at Monday’s rally in Mandya. Laddoos were distributed to express gratitude to the people of Mandya for ensuring the victory of the party candidate in the Lok Sabha by-election, he said.

“What the farmers wanted was a package and a solution to the Cauvery water dispute and not laddoos,” he stated.

Sonia should have spoken about the dispute. The Cauvery river is the lifeline of the people of the region, he said.

Buoyed by the success in the by-election, the Congress leaders have said they will storm Hassan district, Gowda said. “Before coming to Hassan, let them first declare their candidate in Hassan (for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections). They cannot intimidate me like this. I am not going to sit silent. I will teach them an appropriate lesson in the next polls. They will see the Deve Gowda of 1972,” he warned. The JD(S) national executive meeting will he held on October 25 and 26 to select the party’s candidate for the 2014 polls, he said.

‘Let Yatnal go’

Asked about JD(S) leader Basanagouda Patil Yatnal’s recent call to vote for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Gowda said: “He is a big leader. If he wants to quit the party, he is free to do so. I had neither asked him to join the JD(S) nor will I stop him from quitting the party,” he  stated. Nobody is indispensable to the party, the former prime minister said.

“Yatnal joined the JD(S) on his own and he is now planning to quit,” he said. It is said Yatnal is cut up with the party for not making him the State unit president.

On Third Front

Gowda predicted that neither the NDA nor the UPA will be able to get majority in the 2014 general elections and that the Third Front will be the only alternative.

“Things are still very fluid in the country. A lot of things will change in the run-up to the polls. The Third Front will emerge as an alternative to the UPA and NDA,” he stated.

On the Union Cabinet's decision to withdraw the controversial ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers from immediate disqualification, Gowda said the Centre took the decision following opposition to it from all quarters and not because Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took exception to it.

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