Siddaramaiah was planning to seek BJP’s help: Deve Gowda

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was willing to knock on the BJP’s door to become chief minister in 2004, his former mentor and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda said on Wednesday.

“Let me be very frank. In 2004, Siddaramaiah was ready to take the help of the BJP to become the chief minister. I did not agree. All our 58 MLAs met at a resort and we decided against it,” Gowda said. Siddaramaiah was then with the JD(S). The revelation came during the former prime minister’s interaction with reporters in Bengaluru.

The remarks come amid escalating tension between Siddaramaiah and Gowda, with the former repeatedly attacking the latter in public. “Neither Mallikarjuna Kharge nor B S Yeddyurappa speak of me lightly, but Siddaramaiah does,” he rued. 

He added that Siddaramaiah was smarter than Yeddyurappa. “Yeddyurappa went to jail, whereas Siddaramaiah created the Anti Corruption Bureau where he takes decisions.” Further, he joked that the BJP and Congress were like brothers. “Reddy brothers are back in the BJP, while the Congress inducted Ashok Kheny.” 

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi showering respect on him, adding fuel to the speculation that the BJP was cosying up to the JD(S) ahead of the May 12 polls, Gowda said there was nothing more than what meets the eye.  

“Modi understands the background of every state he visits. Congress president Rahul Gandhi asked me to come clean while making a speech in my native district. Siddaramaiah got my portrait removed from Vidhana Soudha. They don’t know how to respect a Kannadiga who became PM, but Modi showed respect to the chair I once held. There’s nothing else to it,” he said. Gowda complained, however, that Modi had failed to address the Mahadayi river water sharing dispute during his visits to Karnataka. Gowda said he was not bothered about surveys predicting a hung Assembly. “The JD(S) now has the support of Mayawati, Asaduddin Owaisi, N Chandrababu Naidu, K Chandrasekhar Rao among others. Kumaraswamy is getting massive support wherever he is going.”

The result of this election holds the answer to the question whether or not a regional party is necessary. “I have suffered much pain to keep this party alive. I’m fighting two national parties,” he said.

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Siddaramaiah was planning to seek BJP’s help: Deve Gowda

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