This comes ahead of the byelection in Basavakalyan Assembly constituency which Janata Dal (S) is contesting
The former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Sunday listed out his contributions for the development of north Karnataka region, and his work in securing the welfare of several downtrodden communities during his political career, ahead of the byelection in Basavakalyan Assembly constituency.
“At 88 years, I am unable to come personally to seek votes. The younger generation is not aware of the contributions I have made to the north Karnataka region. In my last stage of life, I am humbly seeking to create awareness about the need for a regional party fighting for existence between two national parties,” he said in an open letter addressed to the “electorate from the land of Basavanna”, which was released on Sunday.
Pitching for the JD(S) candidate in Basavakalyan, Syed Yasrab Ali Quadri, Mr. Gowda said, “Only in the spirit to save the regional party that I am still alive. It is a question of survival now.”
Mr. Gowda said it was owing to his efforts that the then Chief Minister late D. Devaraj Urs set up the L.G. Havanur Commission that later led to reservation to the backward classes. “Vokkaligas and Lingayats saw reduced opportunities during my tenure as Chief Minister as backward classes received increased reservation opportunities. The same policy continues even today. This was based on Basavanna’s teaching of equal share for all and equality for all.”
While recalling his efforts with the then Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar in securing Scheduled Tribe tag for Valmikis, the former Prime Minister said, “Women were provided with 50% reservation in gram panchayats, and reservation was ensured for posts in local bodies. Women were also given 50% reservation in recruitment of teachers.” Further, he pointed out that it was he who created the Hyderabad Karnataka Development Board, and ensured that Basaveshwara’s memorial at Kudalasangama was preserved.
Listing out his efforts in creation of the minorities development board, he said that reservation to Muslims was first provided in the country during his regime, and that the conflict over Idgah Maidan in Hubballi saw an amicable solution. “My friends in the Congress, who consider our contributions to minorities welfare lightly may have forgotten this. Unfortunately, I am forced to take lessons on secular principles from friends from minority communities who took benefits when they were in the party.”
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