Watching how Cong behaves, says Deve Gowda. Then he makes a prophecy
HD Deve Gowda said he had asked the Congress to make Mallikarjun Kharge the chief minister, but it was the Congress that insisted that his son HD Kumaraswamy should become chief minister.Updated: Jun 21, 2019, 14:47 IST
Just a day after he ruled out the possibility of mid-term polls in the state, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda on Friday went on an offensive against the Congress for the way the party had treated its coalition partner. Gowda, the Janata Dal Secular leader, also predicted that he had no doubts that the polls were inevitable.
Speaking to reporters at his house on the occasion of International Yoga Day, Deve Gowda also said that he had asked the Congress to make Mallikarjun Kharge the chief minister, but it was the Congress that insisted that his son HD Kumaraswamy should become chief minister.
“People in that party [Congress] feel that their party will be finished if they continue in alliance with us. They say the sooner this coalition is ended the better,” Deve Gowda said in an apparent reference to news reports that suggested that former chief minister and Gowda’s one-time protégé Siddaramaiah had advised Congress president Rahul Gandhi to end the coalition. These reports were denied by Siddaramaiah’s office.
Asked if there was a possibility of mid-term polls, Deve Gowda said: “There is no doubt that there will be mid-term polls…. They had given us their word that they will support the government, but I am watching how they are behaving.”
Gowda also reiterated his earlier stand that it was the Congress high command that had approached him to form the government and not the other way around. “I wasn’t adamant on making this coalition government. They approached me.... I told them to make Kharge the chief minister,” he said, adding that the high command insisted that Kumaraswamy should take that post instead.
The former PM, however, attempted to backtrack soon after. “I was speaking about local body elections, not assembly polls. As Kumaraswamy mentioned, the state government will continue for next 4 years. There’s a coalition between JDS and Cong,” he said.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Gowda had appealed to Congress leaders to not make statements that would hurt the coalition government. At the same event, he appeared to rule out snap polls when he insisted that the only polls on his mind were the local body elections coming up over the next year.