JD(S) won’t give up on ‘secular credentials’: Deve Gowda

By, Bengaluru
Sep 28, 2023 09:00 AM IST

Janata Dal Secular chief and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda on Wednesday said his party will never compromise on its “secular credentials”

Janata Dal Secular chief and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda on Wednesday defended his decision of aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party for the 2024 polls, saying that the move was aimed at saving the party and assured that JD(S) won’t compromise on its “secular credentials”.

JD(S) supremo addresses a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (PTI)
JD(S) supremo addresses a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (PTI)

The JD(S) on Friday decided to ally with the BJP following a meeting of its leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy with Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda in New Delhi.

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On Wednesday, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah took a dig at JD (S), a former ally of the Congress, saying that they will have to rethink their name after the alliance with the BJP, as the party can no longer call itself “secular”. “They have now made an alliance with BJP for elections, what should we call them?...“Name says secular. Are they secular now?”

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Gowda said that he has never done politics by “compromising” his secular ideology. “We have never done politics by even slightly letting down our secular credentials and there is no question of doing it in the future too. I’m saying this very frankly. Before Kumaraswamy met BJP leaders, I had met the Union home minister, there is nothing hide in it, and had spoken to him on the situation in Karnataka politics in detail,” he said.

The former prime minister added that the JD(S) did not engage in political maneuvering solely for personal gain. “I want to make it categorically clear, including to the media – we are not power-hungry politicians. In the entire career of Deve Gowda, hardly one-and-half years as prime minister, 10 months as chief minister – after preliminary discussion with Shah, I myself asked (Kumaraswamy to go ahead),” he said.

Addressing concerns about party members’ reactions to the alliance, Gowda stated that there was no resistance from JD(S) workers. “Before joining BJP, I took the views of our 19 MLAs and 8 MLCs who said that JD(S) should consider entering into an understanding with BJP,” the former PM said.

“This party has to be saved, which has been... pain and struggle for decades, and there is no selfishness in this..,” he added.

Meanwhile, deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar said that three-four JD(S) leaders are in touch with him. “Ministers, MLAs and those who contested the election from the JD(S) and even BJP came to us... saying that they do not want to support the alliance. I have already spoken to three former MLAs,” he said.

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