Putting an end to the speculations of a JDS-BJP alliance in Karnataka Assembly elections 2018, Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoking him didn’t mean a “Gathbandhan” with the saffron party.
Reacting to Modi praising him in his speech during a rally, Gowda said, “A Kannadiga had become the PM. How Siddaramaiah tried to demolish the Kanadigaas pride, taking that as a background, he (PM Modi) said this is how Congress gives respect to Kanadigaas, this does not mean a 'gathbandhan' (alliance).”
Earlier on Tuesday, Modi showered praises on the former prime minister and criticised Congress president Rahul Gandhi for ‘insulting’ him.
“….I heard the Congress president speak at political rallies 15-20 days ago....the way he referred to respected Deve Gowda ji....is this your culture (sanskar)? This is arrogance. "Your life (as Congress chief) has just begun. Deve Gowda is among the tallest leaders of the country. You are insulting him,” Modi said while addressing a rally at Santhemarahalli in Karnataka.
Modi was referring to Gandhi's speeches at his rallies in JD(S) strongholds, where he attacked Deve Gowda and called his party the "B Team" of the BJP.
There were speculations that the BJP may ally with the JDS post Karnataka polls as survey predicted a “photo finish” with JDS being the kingmaker.
Modi calling the JDS chief one of the “tallest leaders of the country” gave more relevance to Congress’ “B Team” theory claims.
Earlier on April 30, Gowda’s son and JDS chief ministerial candidate HD Kumaraswamy echoed similar sentiments and said that his party would like to “sit in opposition, or go for fresh elections” but won’t support the Congress or the BJP in case of a hung assembly.
Kumaraswamy said that he had a “bitter experience” forming governments with the BJP and the Congress and he will not repeat the same mistake again.
“I have made a lot of promises to the people, I will not be able to fulfil them if I join hands with Congress or BJP. We had a bitter experience forming governments with both Congress and BJP,” he added.