Deve Gowda: Ready to Back Rahul Gandhi for PM

Deve Gowda: Ready to Back Rahul Gandhi for PM

There would, however, be more aspirants from the alliance partners, he said.

Bengaluru: JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda has made it clear that he will have no hesitation in backing Congress president Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister. But he added a word of caution: There would be more aspirants from the alliance partners. “There is Mamata and Mayawati. Mr Sharad Pawar has been waiting for  long and Mr Chandrababu Naidu is a promising leader,” he said.

The non-NDA alliance will take shape after the elections and once it comes together, the leadership issue will be sorted out in three or four days,” he said in an interview to Deccan Chronicle.

Excerpts from the interview:

On Modi: He is very good at taking credit for everything and marketing himself although scientists had made breakthroughs. Modi spoke of removing corruption from the country. But only he can tell us how successful he has been on this front. In reality, the government has done great damage to the country. There has been interference in the judiciary and the autonomy of the CBI has been infringed upon. The government is trying to intimidate the opposition through IT raids and by using the Enforcement Directorate.  

Isolating Congress in Mahaghatbhandan: I do agree with that to some extent. The Congress has its own vote share in Uttar Pradesh. But for local reasons, they did not include it in the seat sharing.  Even in places like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, they are going it alone. I think they are coming to an understanding in Delhi. Every regional party has its own compulsions. But once the election results are declared, the non-NDA parties will come together. Since we are coalition partners with the Congress here, we don’t have a problem in backing Mr Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister.  But there will be other aspirants. However, a week after the results are out, these issues will be sorted out.

On issues with Congess in Karnataka: This has a historical reason. After the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by Mr Dharam Singh fell in 2006, Mr Kumaraswamy formed the government with the BJP. Since then, till 2018, we shared a strained relationship (with the Congess). But in 2018, to keep the communal forces at bay, we had to come together. This was after a gap of 12 years and so the workers from both parties are finding it difficult to share a common platform. Also in the sharing of seats in Karnataka, we were given eight and later gave up two. I am not breaking my head over the fact that we got only six  and they got more. It is our duty to iron out differences among our party workers. In Tumakuru, I am fighting elections under the leadership of (deputy CM), Dr G Parameshwar. We had not asked for Tumakuru at all.

However, Mr Siddaramaiah wanted to retain his home district and we got it. We will attend a rally under the leadership of Mr Rahul Gandhi to send a message to our workers that we are working together.

IT raids: They have resulted in a loss of face for the BJP. They thought we would park our money with contractors for the election  expenses. But what did they get? Some papers, Rs 50,000 in one place and Rs 1 lakh in another. We are fighting on our own in Mandya and Hassan. In one place, the BJP has fielded a candidate and in another, it is supporting an independent. We know which forces are behind this, but I don’t want to say more.