Amid the possibility of BJP and JD(S) forging an understanding for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Sunday confirmed that he has held discussions with the saffron party’s leadership in Delhi, in the interest of the state and to save his outfit.
Stating that his son and party leader H D Kumaraswamy will be holding discussions with the BJP leadership and deciding regarding poll understanding, the JD(S) supremo said the seat-sharing was not discussed during his talks in the national capital.
“It is being criticised (by Congress leaders) that Deve Gowda went and met someone in Delhi. Yes, this party needs to be saved. I have worked forty years for this party. I saved this party even when Kumaraswamy went with BJP (forming alliance government in 2006)," Gowda said.
Addressing JD(S) workers meeting in Bengaluru, he said, “Yes, I contacted BJP leaders in Delhi, not for Deve Gowda to become Prime Minister once again. To save this party, a regional party that I have nurtured for 40 years….Yes, I met Modi, when BJP leaders themselves expressed desire to meet me. It is true that I spoke to them, but I have not asked for any seat."
The JD(S) patriarch said, on the poll understanding issue, Kumaraswamy will ultimately discuss with Modi and BJP leaders, on how many seats they will give and how many the regional party will take and decide.
“There is nothing to hide." “Modi respects me, and so does the Home Minister (Amit Shah), they know my behaviour. I did not ask for any number of seats. I have explained the situation in every segment. Kumaraswamy and they will sit and decide. I have that confidence," he added.
Noting that BJP has strength in every segment, Gowda said, “Don’t the BJP have votes in Hassan, Mandya, Ramanagara, Kolar, Tumakuru? they do ….. Similarly, BJP too should also not think that JD(S) don’t have anything. I have said this during discussion." “In Bijapur and Raichur you (BJP) can win seats only if you get my party’s strength, if not you cannot win, I have told this to those leaders. In Bidar and Chikkamagaluru too we have a good number of votes…" he added.
Stating that he is being criticised for trying to make “immoral contact" with the BJP leadership in Delhi, Gowda hitting back at Congress leaders said, “who and which leader of the state has how much morality I can analyse, but I won’t indulge in personal attacks. I have nothing to gain from it at this 91-years of age." Veteran BJP leader B S Yediyurappa had recently indicated about both parties reaching a poll understanding, and his party ceding four out of total 28 Lok Sabha seats for JD(S).
However, Kumaraswamy had subsequently said discussions regarding BJP and his party contesting the Lok Sabha polls together were still in the initial phase, and no talks have taken place regarding seats sharing.
The BJP had swept the 2019 LS polls in Karnataka by winning 25 seats, while an independent (Sumalatha Ambareesh from Mandya) backed by it won in one seat. The Congress and JD(S) won one seat each.
Addressing party workers, Kumaraswamy said, if BJP and JD(S) have to join hands it is to protect the state’s resources and for its development, and not for personal desires or gains.
He hit out at Congress and INDIA bloc leaders for not showing the minimum courtesy of remembering Deve Gowda, who had worked for building secular forces, as he also vowed to protect the interest of minorities.
Both father and son duo attacked the Congress government in Karnataka for its polices, terming them as detrimental to the interest of the state and vowed to defeat the ruling party which is “dreaming" about decimating JD(S) and winning maximum LS seats in the state.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - PTI)