Former prime minister and JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda, in his last address to the Lok Sabha, may be for the present term, went emotional last evening, and strongly denied BJP’s accusations that a “grand alliance government”, being promoted by opposition parties against Prime Minister Narendra Modi will create chaos.
Speaking in Lok Sabha during a debate on motion of thanks to President’s address, the 85-year-old leader, said he spent 57 years in public life in state and national politics and this was his last speech. Further, he said that he had proved as Prime Minister of the country, may be for 10 months between 1996 and 1997, the multi-party dispensation can work well.
Recalling his days as the prime minister, Gowda, who led a coalition government, said he was not keen to occupy the chair since the issues involved in running a multi-party dispensation. However, he said that his name came only after then prime minister VP Singh and CPI(M) leader and then West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu declined to accept the position.
Listing out measures undertaken by his government in several areas, Gowda said after the World Bank declined to extend monetary assistance, he had decided to use the black money in the country to fund government programmes. He recalled that he had proposed a Voluntary Disclosure Scheme which was rejected by then finance minister P Chidambaram.
“Don’t unnecessarily talk against grand alliance. Vajpayee started with coalition. Coalition governments can work if there is an understanding. No one should air their differences outside,” he added. The former Prime Minister further said that he had initiated work and sanctioned money for the Bogibeel Bridge, India’s longest rail-road bridge, connecting the north and south banks of the Brahmaputra, falling in the eastern part of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. He also sanctioned Rs 6,100 crore for the northeast region during his tenure, he added.