'Not making Siddaramaiah CM led to JD(S)’ fall'

'Not making Siddaramaiah CM led to JD(S)’ fall'

“There was resentment that Deve Gowda did not make up his mind to make Siddaramaiah the CM. This factor led to the downward spiral of JD(S),” Krishna has said in the book.

JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda’s decision to not appoint Siddaramaiah as chief minister in 2004 resulted in the downward spiral for the regional party, senior BJP leader S M Krishna, formerly with the Congress, has said in his autobiography Smritivahini.

In 2004, the Congress and the JD(S) came together to form the government with Congress’ N Dharam Singh as the chief minister. Siddaramaiah, who was then with the JD(S), was made the deputy chief minister.

“There was resentment that Deve Gowda did not make up his mind to make Siddaramaiah the CM. This factor led to the downward spiral of JD(S),” Krishna has said in the book.

Krishna recalls several instances where his path crossed with Gowda’s. “In 1999, when I was the CM, Gowda used to make phone calls with regard to various issues. I had given standing instructions to my secretary M K Shankarlinge Gowda to attend to all the works requested by Gowda. However, in spite of this, no bond developed between the two of us,” Krishna stated. “However, I think even I am to blame. I should have sat across a table and conversed with him. But I failed to create such an opportunity.”

The former Union minister also throws light on circumstances in which Gowda explored the possibility of joining the Congress. This was when Charan Singh of the Janata Party resigned as Prime Minister. “At that time, the party members were clueless on the road ahead. When I prompted them to think about joining the Congress, both Gowda and S R Bommai said they would think about it. A meeting was organised with Pranab Mukherjee, too. However, their decision did not come through as there was an apparent change of mind later,” Krishna recalled. 

Apart from accounts of his childhood, in the book, Krishna talks at great length about Congress leaders and the party’s contributions. He stated that in spite of a sense of deprivation of opportunities at times, he always felt that the Congress party was his home.

“While earlier, India was looked upon as a poor country, today the country’s villages have developed. The country has made efforts to give justice to backward classes. Albeit several shortcomings, it is not an exaggeration to credit these successes to the Congress party,” he said.

Smritivahini is based on Krishna’s interviews to Pavagada Prakash Rao. 

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