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Congress to go it alone in Assembly elections

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Making stand clear: KPCC president Mallikarjun Kharge addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday.
Making stand clear: KPCC president Mallikarjun Kharge addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Special Correspondent

Mallikarjun Kharge rules out accepting JD(S) as an ally

Bangalore: The Congress in the State will go it alone in the next Assembly elections, as it has complete confidence of winning a majority of the seats on its own strength.

Making this statement at a press conference, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday ruled out even the remotest possibility of accepting the Janata Dal (Secular) as an ally in the elections.

What prompted a reporter to ask him about the possibility of an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) was his defence for his party’s approval in forming a coalition government headed by N. Dharam Singh with that party, because the people voted had for their secular policies.

Disputing the claim made by the Bharatiya Janata Party that it was the largest party in the Assembly and that the Congress was voted out of power, Mr. Kharge said the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) had got a total of 54.38 per cent of the votes polled while the BJP got only 28 per cent of the votes. Moreover, he said that the entire 54.38 per cent of the votes were by secular-minded people, who rejected the BJP’s “communal agenda” and that of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The verdict in 2004 was not against the Congress, but the BJP, he said.

Asked whether the same argument would hold good now and whether the Congress would align with the Janata Dal (Secular) in the next Assembly elections, Mr. Kharge ruled it out saying that it was no longer the same secular party after it joined hands with the BJP and even brought it to power, a week ago. “Whether H.D. Deve Gowda continues to be a secular politician or not will be put to test.” The Janata Dal (Secular) sacrificed its secular ideology in 2006 itself, he said.

The various omissions and commissions of the coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy and the activities of the Bharatiya Janata Party during the last 21 months were enough for the Congress to win back the voters to its side and it did not require any alliance with any other party, Mr. Kharge said. The party, he said, would go it alone and would win majority on its own strength. He reminded that the Congress won more wards in the urban local body elections.

He squarely held the Janata Dal (Secular) and BJP responsible for the dismissal of the B.S. Yeddyurappa Government, depriving the 224 MLAs from their membership, which was to end after 19 months and forcing a mid-term poll on the people.

Mr. Kharge charged them, especially the Janata Dal (Secular), with severing ties merely for retaining the two portfolios of Mines and Urban Development.

“What was at stake when it demanded the two portfolios?” he asked. Was the Janata Dal (Secular) afraid of a possible investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation as demanded by the Congress into the corruption charges? he wondered.

Mr. Kharge said that it was “shameful” on the part of the two parties to force imposition of President’s Rule twice in a month following their hunger for power. The Congress was not responsible for the mess, he said.

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