Deve Gowda also says need of the hour is that all secular forces must come together and the country must be saved from the ‘communal and undemocratic’ BJP.
Bengaluru: After the alliance between Congress and JD(S) emerged after the muddled election results in Karnataka, many believed it was party H.D. Deve Gowda who prevailed over his son. Gowda, however, denies so.
When The Print asked Gowda about the alliance, he said emphatically, “It was my son (H.D.) Kumaraswamy’s decision to go with the Congress. I had no say in it. He took the decision individually. You know how he has been canvassing throughout the state that he will not repeat the mistake of aligning with the BJP. We have all learnt from our mistakes which we won’t commit again.”
Before the elections, Gowda had said that he will disown his son Kumaraswamy if he went with the BJP. “Let bygones be bygones, let’s look ahead,” said Deve Gowda Monday, as his son gets set to take the chief minister’s chair for the second time in 12 years.
While responding to several queries from party workers, Deve Gowda received a call from Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Gowda asked him to attend the oath taking ceremony and “bless his son Kumaraswamy as he becomes a CM again.”
At the end of the call, he also mentioned that he invited the Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, DMK chief M.K. Stalin, among others, making it quite clear that the Gowdas are putting up a united front to show to the BJP that they are committed to keeping the party out of power in southern India.
The former prime minister, as of now, is quite content that his son will be chief minister. He has left the decision of the cabinet portfolios and deputy chief ministership to Kumaraswamy and the Congress leaders.
But the alliance has thrown up several questions, including one on its tenability. Deve Gowda himself is quite convinced that they will complete a full term.
“The need of the hour is that all secular forces must come together and the country must be saved from the communal and undemocratic party. Everything is shaking in our country, the judiciary, executive and the legislature, and this was the best solution,” Gowda told The Print in an interview.
It’s quite clear that the JD(S), a party which all pollsters had written off, has now found itself on a different footing. Not only have they made themselves relevant in Karnataka, they have also forged ahead as a party that can bring like-minded regional secular parties such as the TRS, TDP, Trinamool Congress , NCP and others together.
So much so, they have ensured that Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony takes place in front of the grand Vidhan Soudha, the very same location which Yeddyurappa had selected for his oath-taking ceremony in 2008.
Political scientist Sandeep Shastri believes that JD(S) and Congress are in arrangement only keeping in view the 2019 elections. “It is only their anti-BJP stand that is holding them together. On the ground if you see, it is the JD(S) workers who are competing with the Congress, so this is just an immediate arrangement to keep the BJP out,” Shastri said, adding that this alliance will last for a year at least, until developments in the Centre may change the course of action.
Gowda admits that he is not interested in contesting the 2019 elections and may hand things over to the younger generation. Shastri feels that may not be the case. “Deve Gowda may contest. At least he will make the alliance partners convince him to stand for elections.”
Gowda also said that it would be Kumaraswamy who will take over the baton from him. “JD(S) as a party will remain today, tomorrow and in the future. Kumaraswamy is quite capable of taking the party forward,” he added.