We have 10, will retain 10: H D Deve Gowda’s grim prediction

It was also a dead giveaway that the coalition partners had not gelled together enough to put up a united fight against the BJP.

Bengaluru: The dissent and rivalry between leaders and workers of the JD(S) and Congress, seem to have cast their shadow on the poll ambitions of the ruling coalition in the state with none other than party president H.D. Deve Gowda making a frank admission on Tuesday that the coalition forged would serve its purpose only if the partners win at least ten out of 28 seats. That’s the exact number, the two parties currently hold.

It was also a dead giveaway that the coalition partners had not gelled together enough to put up a united fight against the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls as expected when they struck the poll pact.

Mr Gowda's statement during an election in Bangalore (North), coming in the light of growing discord and lack of coordination among coalition partners in several constituencies, mirrors his pessimism about the outcome of the seat-sharing agreement signed between Congress and JD (S), which curiously he is said to have been the architect of. It could also prove a veiled threat to leaders of Congress to set their house in order in three key seats-Tumakuru, Mandya and Hassan where Mr Gowda and his grandsons are in the fray.

In Tumakuru, Mr Gowda's success would depend on sizeable number of Kuruba voters while in Mandya his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy's pitch has been queered by supporters-turned-foes including former minister N Cheluvarayaswamy. In Hassan, his other grandson, Prajwal Revanna, has been facing the ire of local Congress leaders who are irked by PWD minister H.D. Revanna's political vendetta.

Supports Naidu for PM, then backtracks
Earlier, participating in a rally in Tiruvuru in Andhra Pradesh along with CM Chandrababu Naidu, Mr Gowda said Mr Naidu had worked hard for the success of Mahaghatbadhan and should be considered for the PM’s post, once the constituents are voted to power. “He is the first leader who came out opposing PM Narendra Modi. He has been fighting against him (Mr Modi). There is a question lingering in everyone's mind on who should lead the country if Mahaghatbandhan comes to power. To this my simple answer is what is wrong if Mr Naidu becomes Prime Minister,” he queried.

Except, on his return to Bengaluru, he blamed the media for twisting his statements. “I will back Congress’ decision once all stakeholders defeat Modi-led BJP in the elections. The coalition government has come into existence only after the Congress insisted that H.D. Kumaraswamy should become the CM. I will back Congress party's decision if they want to project Mr Rahul Gandhi as their PM candidate," he added.

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