Railway minister calls on Gowda, raises speculations

Ex-PM says Goyal discussed only rly projects with him

Railway minister calls on Gowda, raises speculations

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal called on former prime minister H D Deve Gowda at his residence here on Thursday to discuss pending railway projects in Karnataka.

When Gowda sought an appointment with Goyal to discuss railway projects a couple of days ago, Goyal reportedly conveyed to him that he would come to Gowda's residence, instead of the former prime minister coming to his office at Rail Bhavan.

When Goyal drove to Gowda's residence on Safdarjung Lane, the former prime minister felicitated the minister with a silk shawl and submitted eight memorandums about long-pending railway projects in the state. In the meeting, in which his son and Holenarasipur JD(S) MLA H D Revanna was also present, Gowda explained the importance of each project.

The requests include increase in train services between Mangaluru and Bengaluru via Hassan, laying of railway line from Belur to Chikkamagaluru, construction of new railway station in Hassan and regular train services between Arasikere and Mysuru.

The meeting of Goyal, who is also the incharge minister for the poll-bound state, with Gowda triggered speculation in the national capital that the BJP wanted to keep the JD(S) supremo in good books ahead of the Karnataka Assembly elections.

Since JD(S) is strong in south Karnataka, where BJP is yet to make inroads, there is talk in political circles that in the event of a hung Assembly, the BJP may try for an alliance with the JD(S) to form a government.

However, Gowda dismissed the speculations and said politics was not discussed at the meeting.

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