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Pained by Congress Leaders Blaming Tie-up with JDS for Lok Sabha Election Rout, Says Deve Gowda

Congress candidates in Karnataka have blamed the alliance with the JD(S), issues within the party and alleged misuse of Electronic Voting Machines as the reasons for their defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, during their meeting with AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal earlier this week.

PTI

Updated:June 28, 2019, 11:14 PM IST
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Pained by Congress Leaders Blaming Tie-up with JDS for Lok Sabha Election Rout, Says Deve Gowda
File photo of HD Deve Gowda.

Bengaluru: Janata Dal (Secular) National President HD Deve Gowda on Friday said he was "pained" by Congress leaders’ comments blaming the tie-up with his party for their party's debacle in the Lok Sabha polls.

"I was pained — when at a meeting in the presence of their national General secretary — someone (Congress leaders) said that the party was in trouble because of its tie up with JDS). It has come out in the media. Some in the media even quoted the word (accusing the JDS) of backstabbing," he said.

Speaking to reporters here, the former Prime Minister noted that it was Congress leaders who had come to him after the May 2018 assembly polls hung verdict and wanted his son HD Kumaraswamy to lead the coalition government.

"We never asked that Kumaraswamy should be made chief minister. Let’s be honest with 37 seats… is it a dharma to ask for (CM)? They (Congress leaders) on Delhi high commands order had come and said Kumaraswamy should become (CM)," Gowda said.

Gowda said he had suggested the names of Mallikarjun Kharge, current deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, or senior Congress leader KH Muniyappa as chief minister.

Congress candidates in Karnataka have blamed the alliance with the JD(S), issues within the party and alleged misuse of Electronic Voting Machines as the reasons for their defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, during their meeting with AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal on Wednesday.

Lamenting about his defeat in Chikkaballapura, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily had recently said the party would have won 15 to 16 seats in the LS polls had there been no tie up with JD(S) and that trusting the alliance was a "mistake."

Veteran party leader Muniyappa, who lost from Kolar Lok Sabha seat, had also made similar comments.

In its worst ever performance in Karnataka, the Congress was routed in the Lok Sabha polls, winning just one seat. The JD(S), too, had won one seat.

The Congress and JD(S) that faced the Lok Sabha polls together as per the coalition arrangement had contested in 21 and seven seats respectively. In its best ever performance, the BJP had won 25 out of 27 seats it had contested in.

An independent candidate supported by the saffron party, Sumalatha Ambareesh, had won in Mandya.

Meanwhile, Deve Gowda on Friday indicated that a Dalit leader from the party was likely to be its next state unit chief.

"We have not declared state unit President and youth wing president today... Thimmarayappa (MLA) also is there, former Minister HK Kumaraswamy is also there. There is nothing that those who have won have to be given or those who have lost should not be given (the post). I will decide, I have been given that independence," he said.

“On July 11 or 12, a rally will be organized by the SC wing of the party where I will announce my final decision," he added.

Speculation has been rife that Gowda was likely to announce the new party state unit chief on Friday at a JD(S) meeting. He had on Monday said the new state president would be appointed in three to four days.

Current president AH Vishwanath resigned from the post recently, but Gowda has not yet accepted it.

Vishwanath recently threatened to resign from the Karnataka assembly if he was not relieved from his responsibility, the party leadership finally decided to find a replacement for him.

Gowda on Thursday had appointed former minister Leeladevi R Prasad as the president of party state women’s wing.

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