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Thursday, August 26, 1999
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Gowda rules out tieup with Cong

NEW DELHI, Aug 25 (PTI) — Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda today ruled out any understanding between the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress in the coming elections in Karnataka and indicated he would campaign against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Bellary.

“I have not approached any Congress leader for seat sharing in Karnataka. I will be touring the state and there is no question of sparing any constituency,” Mr Gowda told reporters when asked whether he would be campaigning against Ms Gandhi in Bellary.Gowda, who released his party’s election manifesto here, said in fact, it were the Congress and the BJP which were hatching “evil designs” to defeat him in the Hassan Lok Sabha seat from where he is contesting.

The JD(S) would maintain an equi-distance from the BJP and the Congress and would like to have alliance with “like-minded” parties, he said, adding that the parties and groups other than the Congress and the BJP and its associates could be considered as like-minded parties.Mr Gowda said his party would play the role of an opposition in the event of the BJP or the Congress forming the government at the Centre.

He dismissed as “baseless” reports that he had reached any tacit understanding with the Congress but said the coming elections would throw a “surprise” verdict in Karnataka in favour of his party.Mr Gowda said his party had entered into a poll tie-up with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra, the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) in Tamil Nadu and the Left parties in Kerala in the coming elections.

“In all other areas, we are fighting on our own,” he added.Referring to Karnataka, he said his party had fielded candidates in all 224 Assembly and 28 Lok Sabha seats.Stating that he would confine himself to Karnataka during this election due to paucity of time, Mr Gowda said he would “rebuild” his party as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP in the next two years.

Mr Gowda refused to comment on the remarks by his erstwhile party colleague S Jaipal Reddy, who recently announced his decision to join the Congress saying that the poll verdict would prove whether the JD(S) was relevant or irrelevant.In a bid to woo the minority vote bank, the fledgling Janata Dal (Secular) led by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda promised 10 per cent of government jobs for minorities and job quota for Dalit Christians.

The party’s election manifesto, promised establishment of a separate ministry for minorities under a Cabinet minister which would look into all issues pertaining to minorities including the working of Wakf boards and Haj pilgrimage.

The 24-page manifesto, also promised to set up a minorities development authority with adequate finances to promote their economic development, particularly the rural artisans and educated unemployed.In the next five-year plan, Rs 1,000 crore would be provided for the educational institutions for minorities, it said.

The party, if voted to power, would fill the backlog of reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, extend Ganga Kalyan Scheme to entire country for the benefit of farmers, introduce a national health scheme for the poor requiring medicare services and insurance scheme for landless labourers and construction workers. back


HC stays screening of ‘Kohram’
Tribune News Service

SHIMLA, Aug 25 — A Division Bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court comprising the Chief Justice D. Raju and Mr Justice L. S. Panta today granted interim stay on the screening of film "Kohram" in Himachal Pradesh.

The interim order passed on the writ petition of Mr Virbhadra Singh, a former Chief Minister and leader of the Congress Legislative Party in the Himachal Vidhan Sabha, seeking a ban on the screening of "Kohram", restrained the film from being exhibited or televised in any form by anyone within the state if till further orders.

The court issued notices, returnable within four weeks, to Union of India, the State government, board of Film Certificates, M/s Mehul Movies Private Limited and Mr Mehul Kumar, producer and director of the film, to show cause why the writ petition should not be admitted.

The petitioner also sought revocation of certificate issued by the Film Censor Board on the ground that the film defied decency and morality and could disturb public order.

It was further pleaded that the film in which villain had been puposely named Virbhadra Singh, alias Raja Sahib, to malign the image of the former Chief Minister. The film had hurt the public sentiments by scandalising the personality of Mr Virbhadara Singh and its release on the eve of Lok Sabha poll was politically motivated.

The screening of the film by a local cable operator led to violent protests from activists of NSUI. They ransacked the premises of the cable operator leading to counter protest from the business community which observed a bandh to express resentment against the attack.

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