Bengaluru: Giant killer and JD(S) leader G.T. Deve Gowda, who trounced former CM Siddaramaiah by a massive 30,000 votes in the May 2018 Assembly polls, could be the latest prize catch of the BJP with the former higher education minister meeting CM B.S. Yediyurappa on Monday setting tongues wagging.
The official purpose of the meeting was to seek funds for the development of his constituency, Chamundeswari. Though Mr Deve Gowda has time and again ruled out the possibility of joining the BJP, sources said he may take an important decision in the next couple of weeks.
The BJP has been hunting for popular Vokkaliga community leaders in the Old Mysuru region where it has a negligible presence and party leaders will no doubt be thrilled if they manage to get Mr Deve Gowda on their side.
Earlier, Mr Gowda had raised eyebrows in the JD(S) when he praised BJP strongman Yediyurappa for ensuring the filling up of all dams, reservoirs and rivers whenever he became CM. Going a step ahead, he had praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his policies too creating an impression that he was on his way back to the BJP which he had quit many years ago.
Mr Gowda was none too happy in the previous H.D. Kumaraswamy government as he was allotted a portfolio which was not of his liking. Sources said that despite being a senior leader, Mr Kumaraswamy ignored him choosing to take K R Nagar JD(S) MLA SaRa Mahesh's counsel instead.
Sources confided that Mr Gowda is not being invited to any party function or meeting.
“He is also in financial crisis as he had to spend a lot of money to fight Mr Siddaramaiah in the polls. The JD(S) leadership had promised him election fund, but did not keep its promise. His biggest challenge is how to repay his debts”.
When contacted, Mr Deve Gowda said that it was true that he was upset with his party leadership but that did not mean he would join the BJP.
“I have told my party leaders that this will be my last election. Besides, my son, Harish Gowda will not be a candidate in the Hunsur bypoll if it is held. I am fed up with electoral politics.” Meanwhile, sources said that a dozen JD(S) MLSs are considering the option of joining the BJP....