Expressing confidence over the Janata Dal (Secular) emerging as “king” rather than “kingmaker” after the May 5 elections to the Legislative Assembly, party supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Monday asserted that he was not exaggerating the party’s strengths.

Participating in a media interaction programme jointly organised by Press Club of Bangalore and Bangalore Reporters’Guild, Mr. Gowda cited the instance of regional parties Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) forming government in Uttar Pradesh on their own strength.

Being generous towards both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said that he would not find any fault in Congress returning to power after nearly eight years or BJP returning to power.

He refused to react to repeated queries on whom JD (S) would support in case of hung verdict, he reiterated that regional parties had opportunities to form the government on their own strength. However in the same breath he opined that coalition government was inevitable at the Centre, as both Congress and BJP were not in a position to come to power on their own. “Both scouting for allies is an indicator”, he asserted.

When asked whether he would contest in the coming election to Lok Sabha, he asked, had he ever said about retiring from politics? “Wait and see. But everything depends on my health condition”, he said.

Mr. Gowda, who is touring the State, said, he would campaign for the party till May 2.

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