"Let's Contest Independently": HD Deve Gowda On Alliance With Congress


Weeks after trading barbs with Congress leader Siddaramaiah over the national election loss, Janata Dal Secular leader HD Deve Gowda on Monday said if mid-term elections take place in Karnataka, his party will contest "independently without going for an alliance".

"There are chances of mid-term polls in the state. If they come, let's contest independently without going for an alliance with anyone," Mr Gowda was quoted as saying in a statement by his office.

"Will not still commit that mistake. Let's face all the elections independently," he added.

After the Karnataka assembly election last year, the Congress and the JDS had stitched a post-poll alliance and formed a government. As part of the coalition agreement, the Congress had conceded the Chief Minister's chair to the Janata Dal Secular. HD Kumaraswamy had become the Chief Minister despite his party winning only 37 seats.

In the national election, however, the Congress-JDS alliance managed to win only two seats. Within days of the debacle, sixteen MLAs of the coalition resigned. The government later collapsed after it failed a trust vote.

Speaker Ramesh Kumar disqualified 17 MLAs -- 13 from the Congress, three from the JDS and one independent-- under the anti-defection law.

Last month, Mr Deve Gowda, 86, said the Congress had been "wrong" in making his son, HD Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister without consulting Siddaramaiah.

The Congress leader had hit back, saying the comments were politically motivated.

"Deve Gowda has made some allegations against me. They are all baseless, politically motivated and false. Gowda never allowed someone else to grow. They JDS do not even let people from their own caste grow. I have friends in all castes and in all parties," Mr Siddaramaiah had said.

With inputs from PTI

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