'Said have no problem with Mamata when reporter said Congress wants a woman as PM," clarifies Deve Gowda

New Delhi, August 6, News24 Bureau: After making headlines with his statement that he is not averse to projecting TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the Opposition's prime ministerial face for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, former prime minster and JDS senior leader HD Deve Gowda has come out with a clarification."First, Congress said Rahul Gandhi will be PM candidate. A PTI correspondent said Congress will propose Mamata Banerjee or Mayawati as PM candidate as they want a woman candidate, I told the journalist, I will have no problem with it," said former prime minister JDS leader HD Deve Gowda.He was refering to his own statement, where he had said that the united Opposition will have no problem in projecting Mamata banerjee as the prime ministerial candidate.Earlier the political analysts were of the opinion that the Opposition must come out with their prime ministerial face so that the voters don't feel cheated. Pitching for a "formidable front" against the BJP, former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda has said he is not averse to projecting TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the Opposition's prime ministerial face for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.This remark came days after top Congress sources indicated that the party will not mind a nominee for the top post from any Opposition alliance which does not have the backing of the BJP and the RSS.Former PM, whose party had made the government with the help of Congress in the state said the Congress will play a crucial role in forging opposition unity in the bid by the alliance to dislodge the BJP from power.In an interview to PTI in Delhi over the weekend, the former prime minister noted while the formation of a third front is still in the "early stage" Banerjee is "trying her best" to bring all the non-BJP parties together. Gowda headed the Janata Dal-led United Front(UF) coalition government in 1996 but his tenure did not last more than a year.Mamata Banerjee is playing a very active role in uniting the Opposition and was in the national capital recently pursuing the task of the formation of a federal front seriously after the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam that excluded 40 lakh people from the list in the eastern state, he said.When Deve Gowda was asked if he would support the Mamata Banerjee as the prime ministerial face of the opposition, Gowda said: "Most welcome if Mamata is projected as PM. Indira Gandhi ruled as prime minister for 17 years. Why should we (men) alone become PM? Why not Mamata or Mayawati?"Indicating he is not opposed to a woman prime minister, Gowda said he had piloted the women's reservation bill in Parliament way back in 1996.

With Agencies