Give us 15 MPs and Gowda will be PM: JD(S) leaders

'Without regional allies, no party can form government'

Give us 15 MPs and Gowda will be PM: JD(S) leaders

With eyes firmly set on the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Janata Dal (S) intends to play the kingmaker.

At the Yuva Chethana Samavesha at the Palace Grounds on Wednesday, the party leaders made a fervent appeal to voters: “Give us 15 MPs and the party will give you Deve Gowda as the prime minister.”

“The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate has been asking for 272 parliamentary seats to become the prime minister, but all we ask is give us 15 MPs and we will give you a prime minister from Karnataka again,” was the party legislators’ refrain.

Leaders such as A Krishnappa and Basavaraj Horatti said the third front was for real and people should take them seriously.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda said, “People have been critical about the prospects of the JD(S); some have even gone to the extent of saying our party is dead. We have shown to the people what we are as a party.”

He urged Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to consider regional parties as equally important given the fact that “coalition is inevitable in this country.” 

“Neither the National Democratic Alliance nor the United Progressive Alliance can come to power on their own. They have to ally with regional parties,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi has to learn a lot and be trained properly; he should learn to take everyone together and respect regional forces as well, Gowda said.

The JD(S) supremo saw a lot of scope for his party in the national arena in the wake of flawed development.

“I am often dubbed ‘anti-development’, but before arriving at any conclusion, you have a look at the Land Reforms Bill. It intends to snatch away land from the poor and marginal farmers. As long as I am there, I will not let such things happen,” he said.

Gowda found fault with excess focus on rapid industrialisation.

“You chant the IT-BT (Infotech and biotech) mantra, but what about the agrarian crisis, rural development and rural economy, 68 per cent of the country’s population is dependent on? Should they all migrate to cities?” he asked.

Recalling his achievements during his 10-month tenure as prime minister, Gowda said the Kudanakulam nuclear project was mooted by him. He made the Delhi Metro Rail happen and his party took initiatives to have the Metro Rail in Bangalore, too, he said.

Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy criticised political parties which claim to curb corruption, but have allocated about Rs 500 crore for the forthcoming elections.

“I have heard from reliable sources that the two major national parties have earmarked Rs 150 crore for Karnataka alone. For these parties, Karnataka is something to be run on contract basis. These parties must be asked how much they have given to Karnataka, except for rampant corruption.

 The question is why do we need such parties. Instead of spending crores of rupees on advertisements, they should have invested in education, poverty eradication and encouraging talented students,” Kumaraswamy said.

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