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“Poll surveys, political pundits…everyone is saying the JD(S) cannot defeat Congress. They cannot form government. If anyone can change the government in Karnataka, it is the BJP,” he said.
PM Modi, who recently had lavished praise on JD(S) patriarch and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda only a few days ago before training his guns on him, said —
“If anyone is protecting the Congress, it is the JD(S)… Congress and JD(S) have a secret understanding…an understanding behind the curtains,” Modi, who lavished praise on JD(S) patriarch and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda only a few days ago before training his guns on him”.
The Congress, Modi demanded, make it clear if it had a secret understanding with JD(S) or not. “Why are you hiding this? Congress should have the courage to speak out the truth to people.”
Reminding the people about the coalition between the Congress and JD(S) during Bengaluru’s mayoral poll last year, the PM alleged a “tactical alliance” between the two parties.
“People of Karnataka need to know the tacit alliance between Congress and JD(S)…they pretend to fight in parts of Karnataka but in Bengaluru the JD(S) supported a Congress mayor, who is sitting in office. What is the deal between these two parties?” he questioned. Last year, the Congress-JD(S) alliance had won the mayoral polls for the third consecutive year.
Modi, however, insisted he still has respect for Deve Gowda, who had announced before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls that he would commit suicide if he became the prime minister.
JD(S) is one of the three largest parties contesting elections in Karnataka (The other two being the BJP and the Congress). With political pundits predicting a hung assembly in the Karnataka assembly elections, JD(S) may well end up playing the role of a kingmaker.
So far, Deve Gowda, has insisted that there was no possibility of his party tying up with the BJP.
Gowda’s clarification had come in the backdrop of PM Narendra Modi’s remarks at a pre-poll rally held on Tuesday during which he had showered praise on Deve Gowda and slammed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for speaking disparagingly of the JD(S) being the “B team of BJP.”
The prime minister had said that despite Deve Gowda opposing him, when he came to Karnataka for campaigning during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the JD(S) leader should live for 100 years and serve the society.
This lauding of Deve Gowda by the Prime Minister had sparked speculation that the BJP has kept a door open for rapprochement with JD(S).
However, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah called Prime Minister’s comment a “not-so-secret” understanding between BJP and JD(S).
Two days later, the Prime Minister in an apparent turnaround urged the people to “not waste their votes on the JD(S)”.
“No matter what political pundits say, JD(S) can only limp to
the third position. It will not form the government on its own. It cannot remove the Congress. Such being the case, should the wise voters of Karnataka waste their valuable vote on JD(S)?” Modi told a well-attended rally at Kengeri, on the outskirts of Bengaluru on Thursday.
Today, the Prime Minister also accused the Congress for playing the “poverty card” and said that Grand Old Party has failed to transform the lives of poor in the country.
“For years, the Congress kept saying- Gareeb, Gareeb, Gareeb. However, nothing came out of this rhetoric. They failed to transform the lives of the poor of India. Now, the Congress has stopped saying ‘Gareeb’ because the people of India have elected a person belonging to a poor family as their Prime Minister,” the PM said.
(With inputs from agencies)