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2-min read

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale Invites Kumaraswamy to Join Hands With BJP

Terming the Congress as "casteist", the Dalit leader said that party president Rahul Gandhi should not dream about becoming Prime Minister.

PTI

Updated:April 15, 2019, 8:21 PM IST
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Union Minister Ramdas Athawale Invites Kumaraswamy to Join Hands With BJP
File photo of Union minister Ramdas Athawale.
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Bengaluru: Union Social Justice Minister and Republican Party of India(A) president Ramdas Athawale on Monday said the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka would not last long and asked Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to join hands with the BJP for the state's welfare.

Terming the Congress as "casteist", the Dalit leader said that party president Rahul Gandhi should not dream about becoming Prime Minister.

"Kumaraswamy is upset, I request him — why are you behind the Congress when the BJP-JD(S) coalition government can be formed?", Athawale told reporters here.

Stating that there was such a proposal earlier, he said, "Congress was clever, it supported Kumaraswamy and made him CM, but Kumaraswamy is crying, he is not happy with Congress leaders. So I feel this government will not last long."

"Kumaraswamy has to come back to the BJP and if Karnataka's development has to happen... Kumaraswamy has to leave the Congress and come back. Staying with the BJP will benefit as Modiji's government is coming (to power) with the NDA securing over 350 seats" he added.

In 2006, Kumaraswamy had joined hands with the BJP to form the coalition government, overthrowing the Dharm Singh-led Congress-JD(S) government, that lasted for about 20 months.

Asking Kumaraswamy to join hands with the BJP for the benefit of the state, Athawale said, "You will become the deputy chief minister... He (Kumaraswamy) is not happy with the Congress... as deputy chief minister he would be happier than now (as chief minister)."

"Asked if he would mediate between BJP and JD(S) leaders, he said after the Lok Sabha elections, "we can try, because if the Modi government comes, then I doubt that Kumaraswamy will be safe (as chief minister)."

Athawale said eradication of poverty was something only Modi could do and not Rahul Gandhi and the Congress president should not dream about becoming Prime Minister.

"Eradication of poverty is Narendra Modi's work, not Rahul Gandhi's — it is not something he can do. Rahul Gandhi should not dream about becoming Prime Minister," he said.

"As long as there is a Modi-wave in the country, how can Gandhi become the prime minister?" he added.

Stating that Gandhi did not have the support of 'Mahagatbandhan' leaders, Athawale said the leaders were posing for photographs only to oppose Modi.

He said the Congress called the BJP "jaatiwadi" (casteist), but the grand old party was the most casteist party. "Their face may be secular, but within, they are casteists, so I left them."
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