With BJP-Janata Dal (Secular) ties in Karnataka hitting roadblocks over the Datta Peeth and Tipu Sultan issues, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on Saturday said the BJP should not "cross any boundaries".
"The BJP is bound by its commitment toward the Karnataka Development Front programme, which is the secular agenda of the coalition government. So, the BJP should not cross any boundaries," he told reporters in Dehradun.
Deve Gowda ruled out alliances with either the BJP or Congress in the coming Assembly elections in the four states and said his JD (S) would maintain equidistance from both the parties.
He, however, said he hoped wisdom would prevail upon the BJP leaders and all issues would be settled by a coordination committee of the two parties.
Deve Gowda's statement comes in the wake of the BJP's demand for removal of a lesson on Tipu Sultan, 18th century ruler of Mysore, from textbooks in the state and taking out of a "Shobha Yatra" during Datta Jayanti celebrations at the Hindu-Muslim shrine considered Datta Peetha at Bababudanagiri in Chikamagalur district.
The Peeth houses the shrine of a Sufi saint and JD (S) leaders fear the Yatra could stir communal tension and dent the party's secular credentials.
On the Tipu issue, Deve Gowda said the sultan was a "true patriot" who fought against the British.