Sonia's decision should be watched out for: Deve Gowda

JDS President H D Deve Gowda. (DH file photo)

Congress President Sonia Gandhi's decision should be watched out for, JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda said on Wednesday, in a cryptic remark made in the context of December 5 by-polls in the state.

".. what happens after election results, the supreme leader is Sonia Gandhi, what she will decide every body has to accept it in the Congress. We (JDS) don't have any supreme leader. We have to see what happens after election result is out," Gowda said. Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, he said, if the coalition government had continued such a situation would not have existed.

To a question about the differences between Congress and JD(S) after the collapse of the coalition government, he said, "Do you expect us (Congress-JDS) to become one, immediately after the collapse (of the government)?" The ruling BJP needs to win at least six seats in the bypolls to 15 constituencies in the state to remain in a majority in the 224-member assembly, which would still have two vacant seats-- Maski and R R Nagar. JD(S) leaders, who have indicated that they don't want mid-term polls, have already stated that a call would be taken on the party's role, in case the ruling BJP loses majority, only after the results on December nine.

Interestingly, Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy and Congress leader Siddaramaiah's recent statements that main objective of their parties in the bypolls was to defeat defectors, who are now BJP candidates, had led to speculations about possible coming together of former alliance partners if the situation arises. State Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Wednesday alleged the Congress and JD(S), who had been fighting each other until recently, have come to an "internal understanding," fearing defeat in the bypolls.

"They (Congress-JDS) have prepared a sketch to pull down this government, but people of the state are with BJP and we will win in all 15 seats," he said. Congress and JD(S), who had run a coalition government for 14 months and had contested Lok Sabha polls in alliance, have parted ways ever since the collapse of the Kumaraswamy ministry in July following the rebellion by 17 MLAs, and are contesting the bypolls independently.

However, in what was being perceived as JD(S)' softening of stand on the BJP, Gowda--not wanting mid-term polls in Karnataka--had earlier said he wants the Yediyurappa-led government to complete its term as it would give him time to build his party. His son and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy too had said JD(S) would not try to dislodge the ruling BJP government.

Among the 15 constituencies going to bypolls, 12 were held by Congress and three by JD(S), whose coalition government collapsed due to rebellion by the disqualified MLAs. With winning majority seats crucial for the government's survival, BJP has fielded 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators who joined the party as its candidates from their respective constituencies. 

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