FORMER PRIME Minister and national president of the Janata Dal (Secular), HD Deve Gowda, alleged here today that former Prime Minister VP Singh was politicising the farmers’ concerns.
“Agitation for farmers launched by VP Singh is focused on garnering votes in the Assembly poll rather than focusing on the problems being faced by the farmers. While the Jan Morcha had launched an agitation in Uttar Pradesh it is silent on the atrocities being committed on farmers by the West Bengal government,” he said.
“If Singh was really concerned about the plight of the farmers, he should talk about a national policy for the farmers whose land had been acquired for setting up special economic zones and construction of infrastructure facilities,” Deve Gowda said.
“Agriculture land had to be acquired for setting industries and construction of roads. The focus should be payment of adequate compensation to the farmers, alternative jobs for livelihood and their rehabilitation,” he said.
Gowda said, in Karnataka, his government had allotted 18,000 acres for the construction of an express highway from Mysore to Bangalore. “Later, the Congress government expanded that to 30,000 acres. The issue reached the court but all political parties remained silent,” he said.
Talking to mediapersons, Deve Gowda said the JD (S) would go for an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in the Vidhan Sabha elections. He ruled out any understanding with the BJP. “The alliance with the BJP is limited to running the coalition government in Karnataka. JD (S) would field its candidate for a few seats,” he said.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s statement on empowerment of Muslims, Deve Gowda said, “I had initiated empowerment of Muslims way back in 1995. Along with jobs, Muslims were given reservation in educational institutions. On the other hand, Manmohan statement is vague. He is talking about resources but had failed to clarify how much of the resources should be earmarked for the Muslim community.
First, a guideline should be prepared for the empowerment of the Muslim community. The Central Government should also study the Karnataka model for the uplift of the Muslims as well as other deprived castes,” he said.