FORMER PRIME Minister and president of the Janata Dal (Secular) HD Deve Gowda, without naming any member of the Gandhi family, said Congressmen felt that they were born to rule.
In the city to preside over a party meeting, the former PM accused the party of dividing regional outfits. “Congressmen think they are born to rule the country and no other party is fit for the role,” he told reporters here today.
He said the Congress created fissures between the two regional parties of Bihar, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Lok Janshakti Party.
Replying to a query, Gowda said, “In the near future regional parties will come together to give a befitting reply to the evil designs of the Congress.” He added only regional parties could understand the problem of the masses.
Economic reforms of the Congress also came in for strong criticism from the former PM.
“The proposed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the retail sector will destroy the domestic retail industry,” Gowda asserted.
Naming global retail giant Wal-mart, the JD (S) leader said, “The Union Government is proposing 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment in retail trade which will not only destroy smallscale retailers but also the local domestic retailers.”
Gowda was particularly harsh on Finance Minister P Chidambram for his “anti-farmer” stand. “The Finance Minister had once stated in Parliament that agriculture was a state subject and the Centre cannot extend much support to the states on the issue,” Gowda said.
Attacking Prime Minister for his liberal economic policies, Gowda said, “He was the person who unleashed economic reforms in the country. The adverse affect of the economic reforms was evident by 1997-98. It has ruined the agricultural sector of the country.”
He said the Centre laid emphasis on the service and the manufacturing sector at the cost of agricultural sector.
“The neglect of the agriculture sector has forced young villagers to work in the service and the manufacturing sector for pittance. They barely earn Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 per month. It is only in the Information Technology sector that youngsters get handsome salary,” Gowda said.
He also expressed his concern over the suicides of farmers in the Vidharba region of Maharashtra.
However, the former Pm refused to comment on who his party will go with in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh.