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Country needs temple of peace: Gowda

By Our Staff Reporter

KANYAKUMARI SEPT. 7. The country needs a peace temple more than a shrine for Lord Ram, the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, has said. "I am not opposed to the construction of the temple for Lord Ram at Ayodhya but the construction should not be at the cost of the nation or through confrontation for the sake of ballot," he said.

The people should realise that the "game plan" of the BJP-led Central Government was to construct temples at Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura, he told reporters at the Kerala guesthouse here today before proceeding for the State council meet of the Janata Dal (Secular) at the Peace Trust.

The political parties should not aim at thriving upon social conflicts for the sake of retaining power, he said and called for creating trust among all religions and remove hatred. "The country is in need of peace not communal hatred. It is time the mistrust is removed."

On the growing incidence of terror attacks in the country, Mr. Gowda said these attacks were not confined to India but affected nations throughout the world. It was a good sign that the leaders of certain nations realising the gravity of the situation had started initiating measures to contain the terrorist groups.

The issue, which had global ramifications, ought to be tackled "by applying the mind."

Claiming that the Centre "has slipped into a tendency" to hold a particular community responsible for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and more recently, the bomb blasts in Mumbai, Mr. Gowda said this propensity only created suspicion in the minds of the various communities in the country and unwittingly encouraged them to nurse hatred and distrust against each other. Besides, the "trishul distribution" programme had further aggravated the situation. "Are not our armed forces capable of protecting our country and are not the police competent to quell communal disturbances," he asked.

The Centre's primary concern should be to create an atmosphere of mutual trust among the members of all religions. Despite its claims in the media, the Centre had done little to mitigate the conditions of poverty, unemployment and the problems of the farmers and industrial workers, he said.

`Alternative front will emerge'

Turning to the coming Assembly elections, Mr. Gowda said that there was a likelihood of the emergence of an alternative front at the national level.

"There will be a new political polarisation and the situation would favour that parties which stick to the ideology of serving the people."

The Janata Dal (Secular) would maintain equidistance from the Congress and the BJP and would fight both these parties "not on personal animosity" but on the JD's commitment to the people.

The electorate would give a fitting reply to the political parties that had been perpetrating social conflicts, he said and blamed both the parties for the "present political mess."

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