Gowda says ‘no hurry’ after PM asks him for support (Lead)

July 18th, 2008 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Bangalore, July 18 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday sought H.D. Deve Gowda’s support for the July 22 trust vote but the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) president made it clear that he would not take any decision in a hurry. “The prime minister spoke to me this morning. I will be meeting him tomorrow (Saturday) in Delhi,” the former prime minister told reporters after a meeting with leaders of the JD-S on what the party’s stand should be.

“There is still two days’ time,” Gowda said enigmatically when asked when he would take the decision on whether to vote for or against the trust vote.

“Why is this hurry? We are neither in the UPA (the ruling United Progressive Alliance) nor the NDA (the opposition National Democratic Alliance). We are on our own.”

The JD-S has three members in the Lok Sabha - Gowda himself and M. Shivanna from Karnataka and M.P. Veerendra Kumar from Kerala. Kumar split with Gowda in 2006 after the JD-S aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka to form a coalition government.

Kumar, who depends on support from the Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Democratic Front in Kerala to get elected as the JD-S has little presence in that state, had said he would vote against the trust vote.

However, Gowda said Friday that he had talked to Kumar over the phone and he had agreed to sort out differences and remain in the JD-S.

“I will talk to him again Saturday after meeting the prime minister. Kumar is a senior leader of our party. He is man of strong convictions and has his own views on this issue (nuclear deal and trust vote). I am confident he will remain with us,” Gowda said.

“The party has authorised me to take the decision after discussing the issue with the prime minister. I will talk to senior leaders of the party after meeting the prime minister and then decide keeping in mind the best interest of the JD-S,” he said.

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