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We are for rotation if BJP follows CMP: Deve Gowda

Tuesday 26 December 2006

Special Correspondent

Arrangement not dilution of secularism policy, he says

Firm on equidistance with BJP, Congress Refutes suggestions of split in party

NEW DELHI: The former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) President, H.D. Deve Gowda, on Monday said his party would abide by the rotational arrangement agreed to at the time of the formation of the coalition government with the Bharatiya Janata Party if that party agreed to abide by the common minimum action plan.

"The common minimum action plan for building enriched, viable and integrated Karnataka that was formulated at the time of government formation makes a clear commitment to the ideology of secularism. It is like a bible for us. If the BJP agreed to abide by the document, we will participate in the Government when the turn came for the BJP to head it."

(At the time of the government formation, it was agreed that the JD (S) would head the Government for the first 20 months, followed by the BJP for the next 20 months.)

Addressing a press conference after the party’s national executive meeting, which not only revoked the suspension of Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and others for forming the coalition government with the BJP but also appreciated the Government’s functioning, Mr. Gowda said the present working arrangement with the BJP could not be considered a dilution of the party’s policy of secularism in any way. The party was committed to maintaining political equidistance with the BJP and the Congress. He refuted suggestions that the party faced a split following the recent meeting of rebels in Thiruvananthapuram and said that but for a handful of people, the entire party was with him.

Asked about the appointment of Neelalohitadasan Nadar as the new Kerala party unit president, despite allegations of sexual harassment against him, he said: "Are there not scandals in Delhi? You have Ministers who have been in and out of jail? What about them?"

Taking a dig at suspended national executive committee member M.P. Veerendra Kumar, who had been campaigning against Mr. Gowda saying he was supporting `communal forces,’ he said Mr. Kumar seemed to have forgotten this when he got the `B’ form from him for his son to contest the Assembly elections in Kerala on JD (S) ticket recently.

See online : The Hindu

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