No decision yet on joining the Congress
‘Conscience more important than the party’s directive’
MYSORE: The decision of M. Shivanna, Janata Dal (Secular) MP from Chamarajanagar, to defy the party’s direction and vote in favour of the ruling United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre in the crucial trust vote has created flutters in Chamarajanagar district unit of the Congress.
Mr. Shivanna’s decision has created anxiety among the ticket aspirants for the coming Parliament election. They wondered what really made Mr. Shivanna to violate the party’s directive.
A first-time MP, Mr. Shivanna got an opportunity to represent the Janata Dal (Secular) in Parliament as H.D. Deve Gowda attended Parliament session only on a few occasions. According to Mr. Shivanna, the former Prime Minister’s decision to support the Third Front dashed his hopes of becoming Minister in the Union Cabinet. Mr. Gowda’s support to UPA coalition would have fetched him berth in the Union Cabinet.
Speaking to The Hindu from New Delhi over phone, Mr. Shivanna said: “I went with my conscience and obeyed the diktat of the people who elected me. I voted in favour of the government because the country needs nuclear energy, as power is the quintessential thing to turn the wheels of development. I felt that nuclear deal is in the interest of the country.”When asked what made him to defy party’s directive, he said that for him conscience had become more important than the party’s directive. “My conscience told me that, future generation would curse me in case I go with the party’s stand,” he explained.
Denying the reports that a Congress leader took him to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he got an assurance on fielding him from Chamarajanagar Parliamentary Constituency on Congress ticket in the coming elections to the Lok Sabha, Mr. Shivanna said that contesting from the Chamarajanagar Parliamentary Constituency in the next Lok Sabha election on Congress ticket did not arise at this juncture, as he was still with the Janata Dal (Secular).
On whether he would join the Congress in view of the change in political situation and because of his proximity with Congress leaders Srinivas Prasad and Siddaramaiah, he clarified that as of now he had not taken any decision on joining the Congress.
Confirming the reports that he felt cheated when Mr. Gowda joined hands with the Third Front, Mr. Shivanna said that when there was an opportunity to make a Dalit representative as Union Minister, Mr. Gowda did not capitalise on that and it pained him a lot. “I told Mr. Gowda that by making me Union Minster by supporting UPA, he could win over hearts of Dalits in the State. But Mr. Gowda was not ready for that. When I missed the chance of becoming Union Minister, thousands of my supporters sought to know why I was continuing in the party led by Mr. Gowda, who had denied me a chance to become a Minister,” he added.