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Will Not Blame Anyone, Mistake Could be Ours Too, Says Deve Gowda as JD(S) & Cong Gear up for Bypolls

Leaders of both the parties have hinted multiple times that they would contest separately in the yet-to-be-announced bypolls necessitated by the disqualification of 17 rebel lawmakers.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:August 8, 2019, 12:04 AM IST
Will Not Blame Anyone, Mistake Could be Ours Too, Says Deve Gowda as JD(S) & Cong Gear up for Bypolls
File photo of JD(S) president HD Devegowda.

Bengaluru: Even as the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) in Karnataka are yet to make an official announcement on the future of their coalition, the two parties have started the groundwork to prepare for bypolls that are yet to be announced.

The JD(S) is also preparing itself for elections to all 224 Assembly constituencies if need be. Leaders of both the parties have hinted multiple times that they would contest separately in the bypolls.

“The announcement of elections is not in our hands. These two national leaders — (Narendra) Modi and (Amit) Shah — you don’t know what they are going to decide and when. So we need to be prepared,” said JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda at a party meeting in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

“I have kept a watch on everything since we lost power. I am not going to blame anyone. Mistake could be ours too. Many, including myself, have lost the elections. The party needs to be rebuilt. Will not question who has stayed (in the party) and who’s left. The candidates will be announced based on the suggestions of people of the respective constituencies,” said the former Prime Minister.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the party gave three tickets to members of the Gowda family, including two grandsons of the JD(S) patriarch Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna.

Gowda, his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy and 24 other Congress-JD(S) coalition candidates lost from their parliamentary seats in the state.

On July 23, the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government lost the trust vote in the Assembly after 17 rebel MLAs from the two parties put in their papers.

This cleared the decks for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government with BS Yediyurappa as the Chief Minister. Other ministers of the cabinet are yet to be appointed.

Soon after, Yediyurappa drew massive criticism from Opposition parties as went ahead with his scheduled trip to Delhi even as the state was being battered by heavy rains, landslides and floods. He then decided to cut short his trip and returned on Wednesday evening.

“The BJP had constantly mocked us with ‘Nikhil ellidiyappa’ (where are you Nikhil?). Now why isn’t it asking ‘Yediyurappa ellidiyappa?’ (where are you Yediyurappa?). It would not have remained quiet had we been in power,” Kumaraswamy said.

The former chief minister, who said he was suffering from viral fver, addressed party workers with a drip in his hand. He said he decided to come anyway to meet his party workers and tell them that the work of the government in the last 14 months must reach every person.

The meeting saw some emotional moments when JD(S) state president HK Kumaraswamy broke down while talking about how he, who belonged to a dalit scheduled caste family, was given the post. In the same breath, he urged the party workers to work hard to build a strong regional party different from the BJP and Congress.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and Dinesh Gundu Rao have also been meeting party workers from constituencies that expected to go for bypolls necessitated due to the disqualification of the 17 rebel MLAs.

After the fall of the coalition government, former speaker KR Ramesh Kumar disqualified all the rebel lawmakers from the legislature till the term of the current Assembly expired and also announced that he would not be able to contest in the by-election during the current term.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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