The former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his remarks on the non-BJP, non-Congress alternative group.

Addressing a press conference in the city on Thursday, Mr. Kumaraswamy said Mr. Modi’s comments at a rally in Kolkata on Wednesday, where he said such an alternative group in the seat of power would reduce India to a third-rate country. He said it was an outburst born out of a genuine fear of the 11 regional political parties which had come together to pose a challenge to his prime ministerial aspirations.

“Mr. Modi is perturbed that his ambition may be thwarted by us as the earlier United Front coalition has a good track record of providing an able administration under the prime ministership of H.D. Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujaral,” said Mr. Kumaraswamy. We don’t need a certificate from Mr. Narendra Modi,” he added.

He said the State BJP unit had nothing to showcase as an achievement as people had voted them out of power after they provided five years of misrule. Even the Congress has failed to live up to the expectations of the people. There has been administrative and law and order problems ever since the Congress came to power, Mr. Kumaraswamy alleged.

He said it was premature to discuss who would be the Prime Minister if the alternative group comes to power. As of now, Mr. Deve Gowda is not a contender, said Mr. Kumaraswamy. If Tami Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa emerges as a frontrunner for the post, the JD(S) will ensure that Karnataka’s interests on Cauvery waters is not compromised, he added.

Mr. Kumaraswamy ruled out contesting in the parliamentary elections and said he would strive to secure 16 seats for the party. He also hinted that Mr. Deve Gowda would contest from Hassan and this may be his last election.

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