“Show me one party in the country that has done politics without establishing some kind of relationship with the BJP,” Janata Dal (Secular) supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda asked on Tuesday.
The veteran leader’s response had been sought amid speculation that the JD(S) is likely to tie up with the BJP for the Lok Sabha polls, and the speculation gathered steam after the visit of the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to Delhi where he is speculated to have met with BJP leaders.
‘What is there to hide?’
“Several parties in different States have joined hands with the BJP directly or indirectly. Several leaders of the Congress are involved with the BJP and this can be seen even in Karnataka. What is there to hide?” he asked reporters here in response to a question on whether there were chances of a BJP–JD(S) pre-poll alliance for the next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
His response was also sought on the efforts being made to form an anti-BJP alliance by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. “I will answer questions on JD(S)-BJP tie-up after you show me one party that has not done politics without a relationship with the BJP,” said the former Primer Minister. It is also a fact that Congress leaders, to further their political careers, have come to an understanding with the BJP, he claimed.
How many seats
Mr. Gowda said a decision as to how many seats would the party be contesting in the Lok Sabha elections and the constituencies would be taken on the party’s platform. About his contest in the 2024 elections, he said, “The party will decide whether I will contest the next Lok Sabha elections or not... We have lost elections but there is no need to be depressed. In the past, we, including me, have won and lost several elections. But we have emerged like the phoenix. Just because we have lost, I cannot be sitting at home. There are several elections ahead and we have to prepare ourselves.”
Later, addressing party leaders from five districts during a meeting to review the party’s loss in the Assembly elections, the former Prime Minister said the party had to be strengthened in areas where it had a base and expand it to other areas. “On priority, youngsters have to be given more responsibility along with seniors in the party.”
The former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said the Congress through its guarantees was misleading the public, and that the JD(S) had to fight against it. “The party has seen several defeats and it has come back stronger,” he said.