Country needs a strong opposition: Deve Gowda

The Samajwadi Party, RJD, JD(S) and JD(U) have decided to come together to launch a strong opposition in Parliament, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said on Friday.

Mangaluru: The Samajwadi Party, RJD, JD(S) and JD(U) have decided to come together to launch a strong opposition in Parliament, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said on Friday.

"In order to fill the vacuum, the JD(S) has decided to join hands with other parties," he told reporters here.

Discussions in this regard were in progress and the Janata Parivar parties had decided to merge into a single party and speak up in Parliament, the JDS supremo said. It was expected that the merger would be completed by February next year and the party would be renamed, he said.

If Naveen Patnaik (Biju Janata Dal) also joins the group, they would get 35 seats in Parliament and become the third largest party, he said, adding, they had already spoken to him regarding this.

He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was merely giving assurances (on various issues) for the past seven months and no initiatives were being taken to fulfil them.

The conversion activities going on in the country would create religious disharmony, he said and urged the prime minister to reveal his stand on "forcible conversions", adding that his silence would give a wrong message to the people.

Gowda also said he would not be contesting the next elections.  

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