H D Deve Gowda, JD(S) supremo, said on Sunday JD(S) was not a family enterprise and that the party has helped many grow.
Speaking from Hassan district, his stronghold, he said, “Our critics often say JD(S) is the political party of Deve Gowda’s family. Have a look at these facts as well. “We have made A H Vishwanath state president. Prior to that, I went to Krishnappa’s house (asking him) to join our party and observed fast for it. It (JD-S) is not Deve Gowda family. Didn’t we give prominent positions to Siddaramaiah, C M Ibrahim, Merajuddin Patel?”
The 86-year-old Gowda said he was pressurised by the Congress to make Kumaraswamy chief minister. “There was a big news that it was a father-son enterprise. Is it so easy to convince all the 37 MLAs to make him (Kumaraswamy) chief minister? They (Congress) came from Delhi and insisted me to give my approval. An hour-long discussion ensued because I did not agree for it. Finally they forced me to accept it.”
Gowda appealed to party cadres to strengthen JD(S) and think about the future of the party. “Please don’t take it otherwise. There is no need to believe that we can resort to anything for power. How to save this party? Today, we have a coalition government but what will happen tomorrow,” said the former prime minister.
Although Congress and JD(S) have agreed to fight to the upcoming Lok Sabha election together, both have not come to s consensus over seat sharing. JD(S) leaders also attacked their coalition partner at the event on Sunday.
Arakalgud MLA A T Ramaswamy said the JD(S) was ready to sit in the opposition rather than tolerating the “arrogant” behaviour of Congress. He urged the party workers to gear up to see a Kannadiga unfurling the tri-colour from the Red Fort as had happened in 1998 when Deve Gowda became the prime minister.
“The arrogant statement that we are twice your size and you have to listen to us’ must go. I would like to say it absolute clearly that if this arrogance damages the interests of farmers and poor people, we will not think twice to sit in the opposition,” said Ramaswamy.