“It’s you, you and only you who gave me strength to share the power among the downtrodden classes in the past. Now extend the same kind of support to H D Kumaraswamy to ensure social equality,” said the JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda at the SC samavesha which was held here on the government junior college grounds which also witnessed the likes of Morarji Desai in a samavesha in the seventies. Going down the memory lane Gowda expressed his gratitude for the oppressed classes for throwing their weight behind him when he became the chief minister. He claimed that he took initiatives to ensure social equality by shaping the leaders from Dalit communities when there was no political quota for them in the local bodies. He also said that he criticised the Union Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge and made sure that the backlog posts were given to the SC/STs for single time during Gundurao regime. He also claimed that he took the initiative to increase the quota from 15 per cent to 18 per cent for the SCs and three to five per cent for the STs when Ramakrishna Hegde was the chief minister. Impressed with the huge crowd which gathered braving the rains, he said that when the oppressed classes stand by the JD(S) party no one can suppress it. “I will not go that easily, unless God gives a call, but by then I will ensure that the party survives. My son H D Kumaraswamy too is not permanent but the party should live long,” he stated. Meanwhile, he appreciated other leaders of the party like P G R Scindia, Bandeppa Kashempur, Basavaraj Horatti and others for putting onus alone on HDK. “You know every corner of the state and should tour independently to recognise the oppressed and address their issues,” he suggested.