Wanted Congress to head the govt, claims Gowda

Wanted Congress to head the govt, claims Gowda

H D Deve Gowda

JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda revealed on Monday that he offered chief ministership to the Congress when the grand old party came forward to form a coalition.

Gowda said this even as he defended his son Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s shocking statement that he was indebted to the Congress and not to the people of Karnataka.

“Congress is the major party and we the minority. We didn’t ask for power. They came to us. In that circumstance, I said there should be a Congress chief minister and we’d support that. There’s nothing to hide. We weren’t in a hurry to come to power,” Gowda told reporters.

On May 15, when the Assembly poll results indicated that no party would get a simple majority, the Congress with 78 legislators offered support to form a government with the JD(S) at the helm. “It was (senior Congress leaders) Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot who said that their high command had decided on Kumaraswamy as chief minister,” Gowda said.

Sources in the JD(S) said Gowda is unsure as to how long Kumaraswamy will continue as chief minister given that the Congress and JD(S) have not arrived at a consensus on the tenure. The Congress is keeping the JD(S) on tenterhooks on this issue. This has irked the father-son duo, the sources pointed out.

The Congress and the JD(S) are reportedly engaged in a tug-of-war over allocation of portfolios.

On Sunday, Kumaraswamy said he was indebted to the Congress and not the people, in the context of his inability to announce a farm loan waiver on his own. He faced much flak for this, with the opposition BJP also taking potshots at him. Kumaraswamy said he would resign if he could not take a decision on the farm loan waiver in a week’s time.

“With just 37 MLAs and programmes of another political party that need to continue, it’s difficult without their support. That’s why he said he’d resign and that he was obligated to the Congress. He’s a child of circumstance,” Gowda said.

Reacting to BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa’s speech in the Legislative Assembly last week in which he came down hard on the JD(S), Gowda said: “I’m saying this as a common man, I’ve not seen such a low-level speech in the history of the Assembly.”