Cong-JD(S) tie to herald oppn unity in country: Ali

JD(S) Secretary General Danish Ali. (ANI Photo)
Highlights: 
Everybody has realised that we have to sacrifice and come together to fight BJP.
Though JD(S) and Congress were fighting in Karnataka, we were together in the fight against BJP in Delhi and elsewhere.

JD(S) Secretary General Danish Ali played an important role in stitching the JD(S)-Congress post-poll alliance in Karnataka. He was the first to be contacted by the Congress leadership before the counting of votes to explore possibilities of forming a government. Ali spoke to Deccan Herald's Shemin Joy. Excerpts: 

What is the takeaway from this election? 

Even before the beginning of elections, I was saying that the Karnataka outcome will change the political dynamics of the country. The takeaway is that it heralds the take-off of the Opposition unity in the country. It also starts the countdown of the politics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. That is what is going to happen and it is happening. 

But there are doubts about the longevity of JD(S)-Congress alliance. How do you respond to this? 

People were thinking and claiming that at any cost JD(S) will be managed by Amit Shah and Modi. After a fierce battle between JD(S) and Congress, nobody was thinking that this alliance can take place. But see, our target is more important.

Though JD(S) and Congress were fighting in Karnataka, we were together in the fight against BJP in Delhi and elsewhere. That was our continuous stand.

I want to remind you that on August 17, 2017, there was a meeting of the Opposition and I represented JD(S). In that meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi, I told the leaders that we should not drain out our energy to eliminate each other. All were responsible for such a situation, some in a big way and some others in a smaller way. If you could have kept that energy intact, unitedly we could have fought the communal forces.

JD(S) took this initiative in two by-elections in Karnataka soon after the Uttar Pradesh polls where BJP won. Voluntarily, we supported the Congress and that election was in south Karnataka. The BJP was defeated. At that time, nobody was thinking of a defeat for the BJP. There were some differences but ideologically JD(S), Congress and BSP are close to each other. That is the basic structure of this alliance. 

There were some remarks by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Will it be an irritant? 

See in elections, all these types of statements come. After the verdict, you have to accept it. The mandate is that people have voted for BJP neither with the number of seats nor with vote share. The mandate is to have a post-poll secular coalition to keep the BJP out. Now we have the seats as well as a combined vote share of 57%. 

Did you expect that Congress would have acted this way? 

It is not the question of Congress. Everybody has realised that we have to sacrifice and come together to fight BJP. 

Will we see the 'rotation CM' concept with Kumaraswamy leaving the Chief Minister for Congress after some time? 

Congress has offered unconditional support. I can tell you how it unfolded. On May 13-14 midnight, Azad and I met and we discussed some hypothetical situations. Then when this situation arose on the counting day and Azad called me and said what we had discussed, that situation has emerged.

We should act, he said. He said nothing doing, we should form the government, we offer unconditional support and it is up to the JD(S). I communicated to our party chief H D Deve Gowda. Then I telephoned Kumaraswamy.

Initially, he was a little bit reluctant. I had updated him the moment he returned from Singapore on May 14 midnight. As the results poured in I again briefed him about the developments. He said let me think and then the decision was taken. Within half an hour, I called back Azad. I also spoke to Siddaramaiah after a long gap and discussed the political situation. 

What will be the Kumaraswamy government's agenda? 

We will draft a Common Minimum Programme and then we will move forward. 

How do you see the BJP efforts to cobble up the majority? 

The politics of money power and corporate power adopted by Modi and Amit Shah has been exposed in Karnataka. The whole world has watched it.

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Cong-JD(S) tie to herald oppn unity in country: Ali

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