Staff Correspondent

`It's possible that the JD(S) chief had a desire to see his son become Chief Minister'

  • Kumaraswamy asked to quit and seek a fresh mandate
  • `I did not oppose Siddaramaiah's entry into Congress'
  • Sharief says he is satisfied with the party's functioning under the leadership of Kharge
  • I am open to the idea of involving myself in State politics: Sharief

    MYSORE: Veteran Congressman and former Union Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief has vouched for the secular ideology of Janata Dal (S) supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda.

    Participating in a meet-the-press programme organised by the Mysore Reporters' Guild here on Monday, Mr. Sharief claimed that he knew Mr. Deve Gowda at a personal level and believed that the Janata Dal (S) supremo had not abandoned his secular ideology.

    `Loss of control'

    However, he attributed the coming together of the Janata Dal (S) and the BJP to Mr. Deve Gowda's "loss of control" over his son H.D. Kumaraswamy, who clinched a deal with the BJP to become the Chief Minister in a coalition Government.

    Referring to Mr. Deve Gowda's acquiescence to the alliance between the Janata Dal (S) and BJP, Mr. Sharief said it was possible that Mr. Deve Gowda, in his old age, harboured a desire to see his son become Chief Minister.

    "There does not appear to be any difference in Mr. Deve Gowda's personal stance towards secularism in politics. He has not abandoned his secular ideology," Mr. Sharief said.

    Fresh elections

    But, Mr. Sharief said Chief Minister Mr. Kumaraswamy should quit and dissolve the Assembly to pave the way for fresh elections.

    "He should seek a fresh mandate in the wake of serious charges of corruption levelled against him," Mr. Sharief said.

    The veteran Congressman also clarified that he had not opposed the entry of the former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah into the Congress. "As long as a person accepts the leadership of the Congress and abides by its principles, he or she is welcome into it," he said.

    To a question, Mr. Sharief said he was in perfect harmony with the leadership of the Congress in the State and was satisfied with the party's functioning under the leadership of KPCC president M. Mallikarjun Kharge. "Mr. Kharge is a good friend. He is doing a good job and the Congress is also doing well in the State," he said, refuting charges that he was not satisfied with the functioning of the Congress in Karnataka.