Assembly elections

Karnataka Assembly elections: Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda rules out alliance with BJP

The former prime minister also criticised the Congress and regretted partnering with it for civic body elections in the state.

Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda said on Monday that his party will not tie up with the Bharatiya Janata Party under any circumstances for the upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka, ANI reported.

Gowda said the state had suffered the last time the BJP was in power and so he would not do anything to help the party rule again. “In five years [of BJP’s rule], there were three chief ministers,” the former prime minister said. “That is BJP’s contribution. I don’t want to name the leaders who have gone to jail during BJP rule in Karnataka.” The BJP ruled the state from 2008 to 2013.

Deve Gowda also regretted allying with the Congress during civic body elections in the state over the last few years. “I have to take the blame as I supported Congress [in civic body polls],” he said. “Just to protect my secular credentials, I agreed. But, [now after supporting Congress] what is our position?” Deve Gowda also said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had taken over all powers in the state, and eroded government institutions such as the Lokayukta and the anti-corruption bureau.

His party has partnered with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party for the elections.

The JD(S) leader also claimed that only his son HD Kumaraswamy could be a better alternative to the Congress and the BJP’s chief ministerial candidates, Siddaramaiah and BS Yeddyurappa. Kumaraswamy was the chief minister of Karnataka in 2006-’07.

The Assembly elections in Karnataka will be held on May 12, and the results will be out on May 15. Some opinion polls have predicted that neither the Congress nor the Bharatiya Janata Party will win a clear majority in the 224-member House, and that there is a high possibility of the JD(S) playing the kingmaker.

No alliance with JD(S), says Siddaramaiah

Siddaramaiah has also ruled out any alliance with the JD(S) after election results are out. “This situation [a hung House] does not arise at all,” he said in an interview with journalist Barkha Dutt. “I am very confident that we will form the government on our own with a clear majority. There will be no post-poll alliance.”

The Congress leader said the JD(S) had a “tacit understanding” with the BJP and was backing it in the elections. On April 20, he had said at a public meeting: “We are a secular party and will not form an alliance with any other party.” When asked about the Janata Dal (Secular), he had said, “Who told you JD(S) is a secular party?”

The Karnataka polls are vital for the Congress since the party is in power in only four states now.

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