CM to meet Deve Gowda to thank him for Congress win in bypolls

CM to meet Deve Gowda to thank him for Congress win in bypolls

 Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said he will soon meet JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda and thank him for the Congress’ victory in the recently held byelections from Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly constituencies.

“I want to meet Deve Gowda and express my gratitude for the victory in the byelections. I wanted to meet him at a function in Udupi (on Friday). But I learnt that he will not be able to make it to the function due to some unavoidable reasons...I will meet him soon and hold talks,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.

He was speaking after taking part in the oath-taking ceremony of Kalale Keshavamurthy and Mohana Kumari of the Congress who were elected to the Assembly in the bypolls from Nanjangud and Gundlupet constituencies respectively. Legislative Assembly Speaker K B Koliwad administered them the oath at the Banquet Hall of Vidhana Soudha.

The Deve Gowda-led JD(S) had extended tacit support to the ruling Congress in the byelections with an aim of defeating BJP. The Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara, had no qualms in acknowledging what they term as “co-operation” from the JD(S).

The byelections have brought Siddaramaiah and Deve Gowda much closer. It is speculated in the political circles that the Congress may forge an alliance – either directly or indirectly -- with the JD(S) in the 2018 Assembly polls to prevent the BJP from coming to power.

Secular forces in the country should join hands to counter communal forces, Siddaramaiah said, reacting to a move by the Opposition parties to put up a common nominee in the upcoming Presidential polls in July. Discussions are being held to put up a non-BJP, common nominee in the Presidential polls. Secular forces have to be united, he added.

On expansion of his council of ministers, the chief minister said he will take an appropriate decision in this regard after consulting the party high command. He said he is attending a meeting of Niti Aayog in Delhi on Sunday and that he is planning to meet the high command during his Delhi visit.

He defended Housing Minister M Krishnappa, who has been accused of acting as a middleman in acquisition of lands to favour a house building co-operative society, saying that the minister has not done anything wrong.

‘No poll alliance’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Congress will independently face the next Legislative Assembly election and there will be no alliance with any party, reports DHNS from Udupi.

He said JD(S) not fielding its contestants in the byelections held in Nanjangud and Gundlupet recently is one among several other reasons for Congress victory. It is not the sole reason as claimed by the JD(S) leaders, he reiterated.

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