JD(S) will not support BJP, says Deve Gowda

Former prime minister and JD(S) Supremo H D Deve Gowda ruled out extending any support to the BJP in Karnataka.

He dismissed the possibilities of having an electoral tie-up with either Congress or BJP for December 5 bypolls in Karnataka.

“I have learnt a lesson from both the national parties. JD(S) would contest the by-elections to 15 Assembly constituencies,” he told mediapersons here, on Saturday.

“Voters are aware on who caused the collapse of Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka and I need not speak about it. Even Sonia Gandhi knows about it. BJP is an expert in Operation Kamala. They (BJP) took away only three MLAs from JD(S) but 14 MLAs from Congress,” he said.

Gowda said, “In fact I was reluctant to have a tie-up with Congress after the May 2018 Karnataka elections and it was Congress which forced an alliance.”

On disgruntlement among MLCs from JD(S), Gowda said the party committee meeting would be held from November 12 to 14.

“We will sort out the issue during the period.”

Gowda said government’s loan waiver scheme had benefited 77,243 farmers in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. Loan amount to the tune of Rs 559 crore was waived. He urged BJP government in Karnataka to continue ‘Badavara Bandhu’ scheme which aimed to disburse interest-free loans to street vendors and small traders.

JD(S) has fielded 14 candidates in the election to Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) council. The party was strong in the district in the past. Over a period of time, JD(S) witnessed a setback and BJP became strong in the coastal belt. Out of the total 418 seats going to polls in the ULB election scheduled on November 12 in Karnataka, JD(S) has fielded candidates in 260 seats.

In Davangere corporation, the JD(S) had fielded 15 candidates. He predicted that the Assembly elections in Karnataka will be held in 2020.

SPG cover

On withdrawal of SPG protection cover to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, Gowda said with the heightened political activities in the country, it was not right to withdraw the SPG cover.

The SPG Act, enacted by Parliament in 1988, was initially supposed to provide security only to prime minister and former prime ministers of the country for 10 years. In 2003, the act was amended and the time frame was reduced to one year. “I had enjoyed SPG cover for two years and later it was withdrawn”, he added.

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