Yes to ex-shishya, no to coffee with BJP: HD Deve Gowda

H.D. Deve Gowda is back to what he does best - playing the role of kingmaker

Bengaluru: H.D. Deve Gowda is back to what he does best - playing the role of kingmaker, this time in a local body election. After dilly-dallying for several days, the JD(S) supremo unequivocally stated on Tuesday that he had no objection to his party striking an alliance with Congress in the BBMP mayoral election.

With this, the decks are cleared for a tie-up between the two parties which had last joined hands in 2004 to deny the BJP a chance to come to power in the state. Then CM Dharam Singh had to make an ignominious exit in 2006 after H.D. Kumaraswamy pulled the rug from under his feet - something which still petrifies many Congress old-timers.

This time, Mr Gowda has nothing to lose and a lot to gain. After being reduced to a pitiable 14 seats in the 198 member BBMP council, the Congress is dangling the deputy mayor’s post and those of standing committee chairmen before Deve Gowda to secure his support. In the process, the former PM could also flaunt his secular image by tom-tomming on his fight against BJP which could gain him credence at the national level.

Mr Gowda however sounded a warning to son Kumaraswamy saying he would have to preserve the identity of JD(S) and ensure it remained a dominant player in state politics.
“Mr Kumaraswamy should take the suggestions of city legislators Zameer Ahmed Khan, Gopalaiah and Akhanda Srinivas Murthy while finalizing the alliance,” he said.

When asked if BJP had approached him, Mr Gowda said Union law minister Sadananda Gowda had visited his house. "I told him that I would not be talking about the alliance. He had coffee and left,'' he said. Taking a dig at BJP, Mr Gowda said he had spoken about the state’s problems with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at length. “He listens well, but does not react,” he said.

“After the BBMP poll results came out, BJP went on record saying four JD(S) members were supporting them. The elected members were being pressurised by their relatives, who were BJP sympathisers. When city legislators brought it to my notice, I asked them to move the members to a resort. The BJP is good at Òperation Kamal, it can make members resign to remain in power,” Mr Gowda quipped.

The veteran leader is shortly convening a meeting of all party candidates who fought BBMP polls, including those who won. The winners, who are now camping in Kochi, will be returning on Saturday morning. The meeting will be attended by all city MLAs and MLCs too.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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