“No Doubt There’ll Be Mid-Term Polls,” Says Deve Gowda, Then Clarifies

Amid signs of an imminent rift, the Congrtess and the JD(S) in Karnataka have repeatedly insisted that there is no threat to the coalition.

BENGALURU: Veteran Karnataka politician HD Deve Gowda today said there is “no doubt that there will be mid-term election”, setting off alarm bells at a time when the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition is going through a rough patch after its embarrassing defeat in the national election. The former prime minister later clarified that he was referring to the local body election and not the state election.

“There is no doubt that there will be mid-term polls. They (Congress) said they will support us for five years but look at their behaviour now. Our people are smart,” the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) chief told reporters in Bengaluru.

Deve Gowda, 86, said that he did not want his son HD Kumaraswamy to become the Chief Minister of the state. “People are carefully watching everything. I did not ask them for a coalition government. I did not ask for the chief ministerial post to my son Kumaraswamy. They (Congress) themselves called me and asked me to form the government. I will continue my work. I do not want to blame anyone,” he said.

Amid signs of an imminent rift, the two parties have repeatedly insisted that there is no threat to the coalition and said that the government will last for the full term of five years.

Mr Gowda, who was defeated in the Lok Sabha polls, soon came out with a clarification. “I said it for local body election and not assembly election. I’m here to build my party. As HD Kumaraswamy had mentioned, the government will continue for the next four years. There is an understanding signed between the JD(S) and the Congress,” he said.

Earlier this week, Mr Kumaraswamy had said he “cannot express the pain” he goes through everyday, adding that he has the responsibility of running the government smoothly.

The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government in Karnataka has been left vulnerable after their massive defeat in the national election. Both the parties won just a seat each, with the BJP sweeping polls in Karnataka with 25 of 28 seats in the bag.

The dismal performance has raised fears of a potential revival of what is referred to as “Operation Lotus”. The term was first used in 2008, when the BJP was accused of inciting several opposition legislators to defect to ensure the stability of its government headed by BS Yeddyurappa. The BJP has said that it would not take any active steps to bring down the coalition government.

Source: NDTV


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