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JD(S) Wants 'Living Legend' Deve Gowda to Be Considered for PM's Post

Karnataka JD(S) president H Vishwanath said that the former Prime Minister should also be a candidate for the PM's post if the Congress coalition comes to power at the Centre.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:April 5, 2019, 9:55 PM IST
JD(S) Wants 'Living Legend' Deve Gowda to Be Considered for PM's Post
File photo of HD Deve Gowda.

Bengaluru: Two weeks before Karnataka goes to polls, the Janata Dal (Secular), which is running a coalition government in the state with the Congress, has once again expressed its prime ministerial ambitions.

Party president and former PM HD Deve Gowda should be also considered when it comes to choosing a prime ministerial candidate from the coalition, said JD(S) state president H Vishwanath.

“Who is going to be the PM is the next question after May 23. After the result, not now. But from south India, our leader, former premier of this nation, Deve Gowda, is here. He is the only leader from the south, the only living legend. Why not him?” Vishwanath told News18.

The JD(S) is in a post-poll alliance government with the Congress in Karnataka and has been in power since the Assembly elections last year. Although it has 37 seats in the 224-member Assembly and the Congress has 80 seats, the JD(S) has been calling the shots in this coalition agreement so far.

“Anyhow, the philosophy of the 17th Lok Sabha election is secular forces against communal forces. ‘Bahutva’ vs pseudo-nationalism. Modi is preaching pseudo-nationalism, we are for ‘bahutva’. All caste and religions, we are all one. That's the philosophy,” said Vishwanath, describing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as “a mature leader”.

Differences between workers of the two parties have come to the fore on several occasions across southern Karnataka, particularly in Mandya, from where chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son, Nikhil, is contesting.

“The Congress and the JD(S) are basically rival parties, but after we joined and after secular forces joined to form the government, both parties are administering well. Some Congress workers are supporting (BJP-supported Independent candidate) Sumalatha, but they have to think now. Sumalatha is no more an Independent because the BJP president has declared his support for her. She is a BJP candidate. Then the (Congress and JDS) party workers have to think about their secular ideology," Vishwanath told News18.

A series of workers’ meetings are planned next week to sort out differences between the two parties, with both outfits prepared to work together.

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