Former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular president H.D. Deve Gowda landed himself in controversy Sunday by publicly saying “bloody b……”, but claimed the invective was not hurled at Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
Gowda, who had joined farmers protesting land acquisition for the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) on the outskirts of Bangalore, while responding to reporters gave the impression that he was abusing Yeddyurappa.
He later clarified that he was not referring to Yeddyurappa.
However, statements from Gowda’s two sons – former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and former minister H.D. Revanna – defending the father indicated that they too thought the reference was to Yeddyurappa.
Yeddyurappa had Saturday criticised Gowda for joining the farmers’ protest even though Gowda had himself cleared the project when he was the Karnataka chief minister in 1995 and the Supreme Court had cleared the land allotment.
Talking to reporters at the protest venue, an angry Gowda shouted “who is he, that bloody b……”. He also used a Kannada invective which roughly translates to “son of a b….”
With Kannada TV channels telecasting the episode, the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders reacted angrily while Yeddyurappa said he did not expect a former prime minister to stoop so low in public discourse.
He said it appeared Gowda had lost equanimity.
Kodihalli Chandrashekar, a prominent farmer leader, also disapproved of Gowda resorting to abusive language in the name of protecting farmer interests.
Kumaraswamy and Revanna, however, defended their father, saying the attack was on Yeddyurappa as an individual and not as the chief minister.
Gowda later told a TV channel that he was referring to state Advocate General Ashok Harnahalli as a Kannada daily in which Harnhalli has interests had carried a nasty cartoon and a derisive article against him in its Sunday edition.
He accused the advocate general of misleading the Supreme Court on land allotment for the BMIC.
Gowda has been waging a long battle against what he calls excess land allotment for the BMIC project.
The project comprises of a four-lane express highway between Bangalore and Mysore, five integrated townships for a population of 100,000 each and a commercial centre and other facilities along the 111-km corridor.
Stretches of the highway have been completed and opened to traffic.
–Indo-Asian News Service