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LS polls 2024: Amend your ways, Siddaramaiah tells Deve Gowda

Siddaramaiah expressed surprise and sadness over Gowda’s statement that a CM shouldn’t speak against a PM, and said, 'You have led a regional party for many years and have been a consistent critic of the Union government and the prime ministers. Why, then, do you choose to adopt such a submissive stance at this stage in your life?'
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 04:57 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 04:57 IST

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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday urged JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda to “amend” and speak out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Siddaramaiah said this a day after Gowda, at an election rally in Mysuru, criticised him for “being a chief minister of just six crore people speaking lightly about a prime minister of 150 crore people”.

Siddaramaiah was once Gowda’s political protege.

In a statement, Siddramaiah said, “Mr Deve Gowda, it is not too late to amend your ways and speak out against the injustices inflicted on Kannadigas by the Union government. The Narendra Modi government is undermining Kannadigas through its policies on tax distribution, drought relief and centrally sponsored schemes. Your silence on these issues might temporarily benefit your party. But history will certainly not forgive you.”

Siddaramaiah expressed surprise and sadness over Gowda’s statement that a CM shouldn’t speak against a PM. “You have led a regional party for many years and have been a consistent critic of the Union government and the prime ministers. Why, then, do you choose to adopt such a submissive stance at this stage in your life?” he asked.

Siddaramaiah said a prime minister is not an “autocrat” in a federal democracy. A PM and CM hold equal stature irrespective of age, he argued.

“Age does not dictate the relevance of their roles. Even when Rajiv Gandhi became PM at a young age, there were older CMs who engaged with him in mutual critique and dialogue. Until now, no one else has raised questions in the imprudent and impertinent manner that you have,” he said.

Recalling the 2002 Gujarat violence, Siddaramaiah pointed out that Gowda had criticised the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “I still don’t consider them wrong as these are part of the proceedings of a parliamentary democracy. At that time, you were not the CM, but just a representative of a Lok Sabha constituency,” the Karnataka CM added.

Siddaramaiah said he expected Gowda to take the lead in resistance against the Union government’s “vindictive” behaviour.

“Particularly at the current instance where the PM seems to act vindictively against southern states, including Karnataka, simply because these states did not support his party, you were expected to lead our resistance. Unfortunately, you are now compromising Karnataka’s interests for the survival of your party and family politics, by aligning with the PM and opposing our cause,” stressed Siddaramaiah.

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Published 16 April 2024, 04:57 IST

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