JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Friday clarified his father and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda will not run for President. He said the 89-year-old JD(S) patriarch's only aim is to see JD(S) forming an independent government in Karnataka, during his lifetime.
"Couple of days ago Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal CM) had invited me and our national President (Gowda) to attend the meeting (opposition meeting on the President candidate)…we had attended the meeting that was attended by about 17 parties, who have expressed their opinion," Kumaraswamy said in response to a question. Speaking to reporters here, the former Karnataka chief minister said another round of meetings would probably be called on June 20 to decide on the candidate for Presidential polls, as there was no outcome from the previous meeting.
"No, there is no question of Deve Gowda's name in the race (for Presidency), he has no interest in it. His desire is to see JD(S) forming an independent government in Karnataka during his lifetime, that's his aim," he said in response to a question regarding Gowda, as a likely candidate for Presidential polls. As many as 17 opposition parties attended the meeting on June 15 to build a consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the BJP-led NDA. They will meet again on June 20-21 which will be convened by Pawar in Mumbai.
The leaders at the opposition meeting adopted a resolution saying, "in the forthcoming Presidential elections held in the year of the 75th anniversary of Indian independence, we have decided to field a common candidate who will truly serve as the custodian of the constitution and stop the Modi government from doing further damage to India's social fabric and democracy". Leaders of several opposition parties had urged NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to be the joint opposition candidate for the Presidential elections, but the veteran leader declined the offer at a meeting convened by Mamata Banerjee in New Delhi.
The election is scheduled to be held on July 18.