S. Rajendran

Speculation is rife that he held talks with Congress in New Delhi

  • `We have always said that tie-up with BJP will continue'
  • I last met Sonia Gandhi in 2005: Janata Dal (S) chief

    BANGALORE: Former Prime Minister and national president of the Janata Dal (S) H.D. Deve Gowda dubbed the reports relating to the party holding discussions with the Congress High Command to form a new coalition Government in the State with Congress support as "nonsense".

    He told The Hindu that the party is committed to the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and there was no question of any change at this juncture.

    "We have always said that the alliance will continue as long as the BJP sticks to the Karnataka Development Programme finalised by the two parties. This is the bible for this Government," he said.

    Asked for his reaction to the reports in Bangalore on his alleged secret meetings with All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Deve Gowda, who is in New Delhi in connection with Parliament session, said that "this is mischievous propaganda to disturb the coalition Government, and it will be nipped in the bud. I am not in touch with any Congress leader, including Ms. Sonia Gandhi whom I last met in 2005. The fact is that after a section of the State Congress openly encouraged the AHINDA movement, I lost my confidence in the Congress leadership." He said: "At the end of 20 months (in October), the Janata Dal (S) will hand over charge to the BJP. I am confident that the transition of power will be smooth."

    Rumours were rife through the day that Mr. Deve Gowda has been camping in New Delhi for the last fortnight to pave the way for a return to an alliance with the Congress.

    The rumour had it that Mr. Deve Gowda was aspiring for an important position at the Centre and consequently had even stated that he was willing to rejoin with the Congress.

    Mr. Deve Gowda, who has been in New Delhi on and off for the last one month, said: "I am here in connection with the Cauvery issue and looking into the ways and means of ensuring justice to the State.