Describing the understanding reached between Janata Dal (Secular) and Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) for the Lok Sabha bypolls on August 21 as “secularism plus communalism equals opportunism”, Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar posed a series of questions to leaders of the Opposition parties during an interaction organised by the Press Club of Bangalore and the Bangalore Reporters’ Guild here on Wednesday.

He asked why the BJP had joined hands with the Janata Dal(S) which it had once accused of betrayal and also why the Janata Dal(S) had joined hands with a party it once described as communal.

He asked how Janata Dal(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda, who had earlier categorically ruled out any alliance, had accepted the decision on the party’s poll understanding with the BJP.

The Congress leader, however, defended his brother D.K. Suresh’s candidature for the Bangalore Rural constituency. He denied speculation that he had fielded him in the race after laying down certain conditions to the party. “I have not bargained for anything,” he said and added that the Congress was not a party to yield to bargaining.

Mr. Shivakumar was equally defended his seeking the support of the Samajwadi Party and the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). “The Samajwadi Party is an ally of the Congress at the Centre. That is why sought that party’s support. As Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) has not fielded its candidate and had distanced itself from the BJP, I sought its support too. There is nothing wrong in my action,” he said.

About his alleged involvement in illegal mining, he said: “Many leaders in State politics are facing such charges and a court is looking into them. I will abide by the court verdict.”

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