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Deve Gowda rules out BJP-JD(S) alliance after PM Modi’s praise-fest

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NEW DELHI: JD(S) supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda today insisted there was no possibility of his party tying up with the BJP ahead of the high stakes Karnataka assembly election.

The clarification came in the wake of PM Narendra Modi’s remarks at a pre-poll rally yesterday, during which he showered praise on Deve Gowda and slammed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for speaking disparagingly of the JD(S) being the “B team of BJP.”

Distancing himself from the PM’s statement, Deve Gowda told ANI: “A Kannadiga had become the PM. How Siddaramaiah tried to demolish the Kannadigas pride, taking that as a background, he (PM Modi) said this is how Congress gives respect to Kannadigas, this does not mean a ‘gathbandhan’ (alliance)”.

While addressing a public gathering in poll-bound Karnataka yesterday, Modi had trained his guns on Rahul for “insulting” Gowda and said: “I heard the Congress president speak at political rallies 15-20 days ago… the way he referred to respected Deve Gowda ji… is this your culture (sanskar)? This is arrogance. Deve Gowda is among the tallest leaders of the country.”

This unprecedented eulogizing of Deve Gowda by the Prime Minister had sparked speculation that the BJP has kept a door open for rapprochement with JD(S).

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah was quick to react to Modi’s praise for Deve Gowda saying this only proved the tacit alliance between BJP and JD(S).

“Prime Minister has suddenly discovered love and respect for Shri H D Deve Gowda. Shri Modi had not long ago said he will send Shri Deve Gowda to a retirement home. Is this new love a sign of the not-so-secret understanding between BJP and JDS?” Siddaramaiah tweeted.

However, Deve Gowda has vociferously ruled out joining hands with the BJP, or the Congress for that matter, alleging that the two parties were attempting to destroy him. The JD(S) chief went as far as to threaten to disown his son HD Kumaraswamy if he backs the saffron party in the May 12 assembly election.

Updated: May 2, 2018 — 11:03 am

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