New Delhi: Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal Secular (JD-S) Supremo HD Deve Gowda on Friday made startling claim by saying mid-terms polls seem imminent in Karnataka as he does not ‘know how long the coalition government in the state will last’. “They said they will support us for five years, but look at their behaviour now. Our people are smart. There is no doubt that it (mid-term polls) will be held,” Deve Gowda told reporters in his first presser after the humiliating defeat in Lok Sabha elections.
Furthermore, the JD(S) supremo revealed that he never wanted an alliance with the Congress in Karnataka but his party agreed to it following pressure from the grand old party leadership. “I told them we didn’t want this (coalition government), but Parameshwara and Muniyappa approached us. (Mallikarjun) Kharge told me that he had been ordered to ensure that this happens,” Gowda said. Notably, G Parameshwara, KH Muniyappa and Mallikarjun Kharge are senior Karnataka Congress leaders.
Gowda stated that it was Ghulam Nabi Azad who held his hands and pleaded that Kumaraswamy should be the Chief Minister of the state. As per Deve Gowda, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul had sent Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot to Bangalore to hold a discussion with the JDS supremo.
The JD(S) leader also said that he never wanted his son HD Kumaraswamy to be the chief minister of Karnataka. “I had suggested Mallikarjun Kharge’s name for the post of the chief minister but Ghulam Nabi Azad told me Congress top boss wanted HD Kumaraswamy to take the CM post,” Deve Gowda reportedly said.
On being asked about senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah’s reported remarks after meeting Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday that the coalition is not working well and the party would have performed better if it had contested the elections alone, Gowda said, “I don’t want to react now; there is ample time.”
Notably, the JD(S) leader’s reaction comes in the backdrop of leaders of the state’s ruling Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition repeatedly airing their differences publicly following the alliance’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls in the state. The two parties managed to bag only one Lok Sabha seat each in the polls, while the BJP won 25 of the 28 seats in the state.