No doubt midterm polls will happen in Karnataka, says Deve Gowda

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda. File`

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda. File`   | Photo Credit: K. Bhagya Prakash

The former Prime Minister says he has started the exercise of strengthening the party by conducting various meetings with leaders.

In a sign of growing tensions in the ruling alliance in Karnataka, JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda on Friday said there was no doubt there would be mid-term polls to the State Assembly.

The former Prime Minister said he did not know how long the Congress-JD(S) government, headed by his son H.D. Kumaraswamy, would continue and it was in the hands of the senior coalition partner.

“They [Congress] had said they will give support to us for five years. I am watching all the developments and their behaviour. Our people are intelligent enough. We need not have to teach them,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.

Mr. Gowda’s salvo came amid reports that Congress Legislature Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had conveyed to party president Rahul Gandhi that the alliance was causing damage to the grand old party and it became clear in the recent Lok Sabha polls’ outcome.

BJP crushes Congress, JD(S)

The BJP had crushed the Congress and JD(S), winning 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats and leaving only one seat each to the two alliance partners. The BJP-backed independent candidate had won the Mandya seat.

Mr. Gowda said he has started the exercise of strengthening the party by conducting various meetings with the leaders.

“We will continue doing our work... these programmes will go on. I don’t know how long this government will stay. It is in the hands of Congress leaders and not Kumaraswamy,” the JD(S) supremo said.

He also reminded the Congress leaders again that it was they who had approached the JD(S) to form the government with Mr. Kumaraswamy as the chief minister.

“I was not after the formation of the coalition government. It is they (Congress) who came to us. I don’t know whether they agreed for it or the Delhi high command directed them to do so,” he added.

Talks about Tumkur defeat

Mr. Gowda, who was defeated from the Tumkur Lok Sabha constituency, also spoke about how he has been blamed for it.

“We had got eight seats in the seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress. I told Rahul Gandhi that if you think you do not want a particular seat then give us the one you had lost. Did I ask for Tumkur? No. Siddaramaiah had told me. He said he did it for Mysuru (to win Mysuru seat). They have openly said that I am responsible for the defeat in Tumkur and Mysuru. Leave it now,” he said.

As Mr. Gowda’s remarks raised alarm bells within the coalition, Mr. Kumaraswamy went into a damage control mode and said his government was safe.

He asserted that his father has been misunderstood.

Damage control

“What he has said is that be prepared for the urban local body elections. Deve Gowda has not said that the assembly election will take place. He has given a clarification also. There is no question of mid-term polls. The government will continue for the next four years,” he said.

He also said the government would focus on rectifying the mistakes.

Reacting to Mr. Gowda’s remarks, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said there was no need for mid-term poll and people would not like it.

He asserted the BJP would not let it happen and, if required, it would form the government.

“I want to make it clear that we will not let the mid- term poll to happen. We are 105 (MLAs). If they have the capability, then let them continue or else, let them go. We will run the government. People will not accept election within a year and there is no need for it,” Mr. Yeddyurappa said.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said he did not know in what context Mr. Gowda said so but he insisted that the government would continue.

“Small discrepancies, discord and differences of opinionsurface when we run a coalition government... The coalition dharma calls for taking everybody along ignoring the differences,” Mr. Parameshwara told reporters.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:04:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-doubt-mid-term-polls-will-happen-in-karnataka-says-deve-gowda/article28097927.ece

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