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Within 48 Hours of Praising Deve Gowda to the Skies, PM Modi Does a U-Turn

Addressing a public meeting in the outskirts of Bengaluru, the PM said JD(S) had joined hands with communal forces who support Naxalites.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:May 3, 2018, 9:08 PM IST
Within 48 Hours of Praising Deve Gowda to the Skies, PM Modi Does a U-Turn
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves along with Ananth Kumar and other BJP keaders during a public rally for the Karnataka assembly elections, in Bengaluru on Thursday. (PTI Photo)
Bengaluru: Two days after praising former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda to the skies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did a U-turn on Thursday by asking the people not to waste their votes on the JD(S).

Addressing a public meeting in the outskirts of Bengaluru on Thursday evening, the PM said, "JD(S) stands at third place and people should not waste their vote on them.”

The PM further said JD(S) had joined hands with communal forces of different states who support Naxalites. The JD(S) has tied up with BSP for the upcoming elections.

Just like two days ago, the PM’s remarks have led to surprise and several interpretations by political analysts and politicians alike. Modi’s praise of Deve Gowda had given weightage to the theory that the JD(S) is the ‘B-team’ of the BJP, and both father and son H D Kumaraswamy had spent whole of Wednesday trying to downplay it.

Kumaraswamy had said that after realizing that the Deve Gowda government at the Centre was honest, the PM had praised his father. He said, “Modi tried to fix my father. But realised that he ran a clean government and has started praising him”.

Deve Gowda himself clarified that he did not want anybody’s praise, including the PM.

There are two versions over PM’s change of heart within 48 hours. Some argue that he has deliberately asked the people not to vote for the JD(S), keeping in mind that calling it a “third place” party will actually consolidate Vokkaliga votes behind the JDS and deprive the Congress of some Vokkaliga votes.

Another argument is fear of JD(S) losing Muslim votes. Siddaramaiah and Rahul Gandhi’s claims that JD(S) is a “B team” gained ground after PM’s public approval of Gowda and so, the Muslims may not back the party.

According to latest caste census of the state, Muslim population is 16% of the state’s total population and all of them voting enmasse for the Congress would hit the BJP’s chances of wresting power.

On Tuesday, the PM had said that he had always treated a senior leader like Deve Gowda with “great respect” and referred to him as the tallest leader. He had also hit out at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for “personal attacks” on Gowda.

The statement, made in Gowda heartland Chamarajanagar just 12 days before voting in the most crucial Assembly election, had led a war of words between HD Kumaraswamy and CM Siddaramaiah.

It had come as a big surprise as just a day earlier, Gowda had declared that he would disown Kumaraswamy if he goes with the BJP in case of a hung Assembly.

Siddaramaiah said that it was the “confirmation” of a “deal” between the BJP and JD(S). He alleged that Modi was reaching out to the JD(S), fearing a hung House in Karnataka. He also alleged that Kumaraswamy had travelled to Delhi with BJP chief Amit Shah to finalise the “deal”.

Kumaraswamy, who is not as active on social media as Siddaramaiah, took to Twitter to counter him. He called Siddaramaiah a “frustrated man”, who was staring at a “certain defeat”. He also reminded Siddaramaiah that he had come to Deve Gowda's house, seeking his guidance during the Cauvery crisis in 2016 and wanted to know if he had come to clinch a “secret deal” with the JD(S).

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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