Hegde groomed me, says Siddaramaiah

Hegde groomed me, says Siddaramaiah

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday charged that JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda was unnecessarily taking credit for his political rise. He was speaking at the ‘Meet the Press’ in the Press Club of Bangalore.

“Deve Gowda did not groom me. He had no role in my political growth. In fact, it was Ramakrishna Hegde (former chief minister) who recognised me. He made me the president of the Kannada Kavalu Samiti, and later, a minister. Deve Gowda is a leader, a former chief minister and a prime minister. But it’s not right on his part to claim that he groomed me,” he said.

Siddaramaiah also said that he was one of the leaders responsible for Gowda occupying the chief minister’s post in 1994. “The JD(S) won the elections in 1994 only because of the collective campaigning by leaders like Hegde, S R Bommai, M P Prakash and Rachaiah. Deve Gowda alone cannot be credited for that victory. He became chief minister because of us,” he added.

Taking a dig at Gowda for unsuccessful attempts at contesting from two constituencies, Siddaramaiah claimed that he would however “comfortably” win in both Chamundeshwari and Badami segments.

He said that when the Janata Dal split and became JD(U) and JD(S), he had stayed on with the latter, despite knowing that it would “never come to power”

When asked about Gowda’s accusations that he had met BJP leader L K Advani to explore his prospects with the saffron party, Siddaramaiah said, “It’s a lie. I have never approached the BJP. I know Advani. But there has been no occasion to meet him.”

‘Cheap rhetoric’

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “cheap rhetoric”, Siddaramaiah said that the BJP leader was speaking in a manner that did not befit his office. 

“Modi continues to attack Congress with remarks such as ‘seedha rupaiah sarkar’ and ‘10% government’. I have never used such uncivilised words. But when provoked, I have to react — else people will perceive it to be the truth. What evidence does he have to make such jibes?” he said.

Siddaramaiah also charged that Modi had failed as a prime minister in the last four years, and that he was deliberately lying to hide his failure. “This is nothing but petty propaganda. Modi’s ‘magic’ will not work in Karnataka," he said.