Bangalore. Janata Dal (Secular) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda said on Tuesday that his party will contest the Lok Sabha elections on its own. Deve Gowda, however, hinted at keeping options open amid the recent closeness between the JD(S) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He said that the party will decide its future course of action based on the current situation.
Deve Gowda also said he was not invited to a meeting of opposition parties here earlier this month because a section of the Congress in Karnataka was opposing such a move, while Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wanted him (Deve Gowda) to attend the meeting.
Deve Gowda’s son and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had last week said that his party would work together with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against the Congress government in the state on various issues. With this, speculations were being made about joining hands of BJP and JD(S) in the Lok Sabha elections to be held next year.
JD(S) and BJP MLAs boycotted the session after 10 BJP MLAs were suspended from the Assembly for ‘indecent and disrespectful conduct’. “The JD(S) will contest the Lok Sabha elections on its own,” Deve Gowda told a press conference here. “Whether we (the party) win five, six, three, two or just one seat, we will contest the Lok Sabha polls on our own,” he said.
Deve Gowda said, “After consulting our workers, we will field candidates in the Lok Sabha elections only in those areas where we are strong.” However, Deve Gowda said the party would decide its future course of action based on the current situation. In this context, he recalled how his party had extended support to the Congress-led government headed by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
JD(S) and Congress fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together. Then BJP had won 25 out of 28 seats in Karnataka. The JD(S) and the Congress had won one seat each, while a BJP-backed independent also won. Deve Gowda, who contested from Tumakuru Lok Sabha constituency, also lost.
When asked why he was not invited for the July 17 meeting of opposition parties in Bengaluru, Deve Gowda said that a section of Congress leaders in Karnataka had opposed his presence. He said, ‘A section of the Congress here (in Karnataka) had threatened that they would not attend the event if Deve Gowda was invited. Therefore, I was not called.
Deve Gowda said that Nitish Kumar wanted to invite him, but some local Congress leaders were not in favor of it. The JD(S) fared poorly in the 224-member Karnataka assembly elections in May, winning only 19 seats. Deve Gowda said, ‘The party has existed since 1983 till today and will continue to exist. Those who think that the party will end are living in an illusion. it’s not possible.’
According to Deve Gowda, 19 MLAs, seven MLCs and top leaders held a meeting last week and chalked out programs for campaigning in the districts, which will be finalized after Kumaraswamy returns from abroad.
Tags: 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, BJP, congress, hd deve gowda, Loksabha Election
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 25, 2023, 20:31 IST