No question of going with BJP in case of hung Assembly: Kumaraswamy

The Janata Dal (Secular), if forced to play kingmaker post the 2018 polls, will opt for a democratic and secular party which respects the Constitution, the party’s State president and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has said.

Speaking to The Hindu, he, however, dismissed poll predictions that foresee a hung Assembly as “manipulative” and said the party was confident of crossing the 100 mark. While not stating categorically that the party would pick Congress over the BJP as an ally if left with no option, he said: “There is no question of going with the BJP.”

Reminded of the party’s coalition with the BJP in 2006 after breaking ties with the Congress, Mr. Kumaraswamy claimed that his party “had not compromised on its secular credentials” even then. “I had ordered the arrest of BJP’s then State president D.V. Sadananda Gowda when he defied ban orders at the time of Datta Jayanti,” he said.

He went on to say that the Congress government in Karnataka, in contrast, had failed to protect the interest of the minorities. He held the State government responsible for “allowing” the recent desecration of tombs at Bababudangiri hills during Datta Jayanti.

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP, Mr. Kumaraswamy said the BJP’s “aggressive Hindutva agenda was dividing society, which is essentially its character.” He said: “It looks like the national president of the BJP wants the party’s youth wing in Karnataka to hold aggressive protests and ensure tear gas shelling and caning. Following this, BJP MP drove over barricades put up by the police with least regard for law of the land. Hanuma Jayanti, which was peaceful all these years, turned violent this time. Major religious festivals of minority and majority communities, which were harmonious all these years, are now turning out to be scary affair. Trust deficit is widening the gap between majority and minority communities.”

Mr. Kumaraswamy said voices of dissent were being silenced in the country.

“Institutions such as the CBI are being employed to threaten political opponents. We are witnessing political vendetta of this kind for the first time in post-Independence history. There is an undeclared Emergency in the country. If the democratic and secular forces fail to counter the juggernaut of communal, anti-democratic forces, no one can save this country. That is why there is no question of joining hands with the BJP under any circumstances,” he said.

Claiming to prioritise both minority communities and Dalits if voted to power, Mr. Kumaraswamy said: “The JD(S) has already announced its plans of having two Deputy Chief Ministers in its government from minority and Dalit communities.”

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 11:35:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-question-of-going-with-bjp-in-case-of-hung-assembly-kumaraswamy/article21386592.ece

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