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Siddaramaiah demands explanation for his ouster

Sunday 7 August 2005

Staff Reporter

Accuses the Janata Dal (Secular) President of authoritarianism

There is no internal democracy in party, declares Siddararamaiah The former Deputy Chief Minister denies he is casteist Says he has no personal animosity towards Deve Gowda George Fernandes’s offer turned down

BANGALORE: The former Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, on Saturday declared that he will continue to espouse the cause of minorities, backward classes and Dalitsand fight for their uplift by remaining within the Janata Dal (S).Making a scathing attack on Janata Dal (S) President, H.D. Deve Gowda,Mr. Siddaramaiah demanded that he explain the reason for his ouster from the leadership of the Janata Dal (S) Legislature Party. Mr. Deve Gowda’s action is unilateral, arbitrary and dictatorial, he charged.

H.C. Mahadevappa, who was removed as Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, the former Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council, B.R. Patil, and the former Minister, N.M. Nabi, were with Mr. Siddararamiah.

Mr. Deve Gowda, he said, is against internal democracy. "Perhaps, I am the only leader, who has been working with Mr. Deve Gowda from 1987 in building the party, participating in all elections, and organising conferences of AHIND right from the days of Ramakrishna Hegde. I know how Mr. Deve Gowda got the signatures of the MLAs to oust me," he said.Even parties such as the BJP and the Shiv Sena have not criticised the pro-Dalit, pro-backward classes and pro-Muslim programmes, but Mr. Deve Gowda’s true colours were exposed after the Hubli meet, Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

"Sensing a threat to him (Mr. Deve Gowda) from me after the AHIND meet, the Janata Dal (S) supremo began his familiar game of unseating leaders who criticised him for furthering his family interests by sacrificing party interests. What he did to Ramakrishna Hegde, J.H. Patel and C. Byre Gowda he has done it to me now. The next target will be M.P. Prakash," he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah wanted to know from Mr. Deve Gowda whether achieving 26.8 per cent growth in revenue mobilisation making Karnataka number 1 was an offence.

No mischief monger

Mr. Siddaramaiah rejected the charge of the Mr. Deve Gowda that he was a mischief monger hobnobbing with the Congress leaders. It was Mr. Deve Gowda who had aligned with the Congress leaders to anoint Mr. Dharam Singh as Chief Minister.

On the charge that he had organised a caste conference, Mr. Siddaramaiah said he drew inspiration from what Ram Manohar Lohia had said. Lohia had supported the weaker sections for organising caste conferences. They are fighting for their legitimate rights and it should not be termed communal, he said.

He made it clear that he is not casteist. Personally, Mr. Siddaramaiah said he had no animosity towards Mr. Deve Gowda, but was only opposed to his political decisions, which were undemocratic and authoritarian.Mr. Siddaramaiah appealed to his supporters to keep their protest peaceful.

Fernandes’s offer

The National Democratic Alliance Convener and Janata Dal (U) leader, George Fernandes, who met Mr. Siddaramaiah here on Saturday, said that he had invited the former Deputy Chief Minister to join his party, but the latter had politely rejected it.

Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Fernandes said that Mr. Siddaramaiah is a wise man and he takes the right decision at the right time. To a question on floating a third front, the NDA convener said that most MPs are in one front or the other, and so "where is the need for another one."

Road blocked

AHIND activists on Saturday blocked the Bangalore-Mysore Road to protest against the sacking of Mr. Siddaramaiah, Mr. Mahadevappa and Satish Jarkhiholi from the Ministry. AHIND activists, who came in a procession from Attiguppe, gathered near Deepanjalinagar Circle and blocked the Mysore Road for nearly an hour.

See online : The Hindu

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