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Gowda maintains secrecy over alliance to BJP or Congress

Devegowda_6

Bengaluru :Maintaining suspense over his party’s move, JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda today made it clear that he is in no hurry or ‘anxious’ to take a call on the issue of extending support either to the ruling Congress or BJP to take control of the city civic body.

Gowda said he would convene a meeting of party MLAs, MLCs and corporators and defeated candidates in the August 22 polls held to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), on September 5 to take a decision.

“I am calling all my MLAs, MLCs and corporators – both victorious and defeated on Sept 5.We will all sit together and interact to find ways to strengthen our small regional party,” he told PTI, even as his party corporators were cooling their heels in Kerala to prevent from being “poached” upon.

Gowda said he is not anxious nor was he a beggar to go to the doorsteps of the national parties – BJP and Congress – forlending support to rule BBMP. “I am not anxious. Why should I be bothered? I am not a beggar either. People know who are anxious. Congress and BJP are (anxious),” he said.

The JDS chief said, nevertheless he has to take a decision very carefully, given the past records of both the national parties sullying the image of his party.

“I have to be very careful in taking a decision because both parties took our support earlier and damaged our reputation … I took the support of Congress and burnt my fingers.Dharam Singh was then made the CM who led Congress-JDS government. The Congress destroyed my party,” he said.

“Later, without my knowledge, my party leaders took the support of BJP, and thereafter what happened everybody knows. My son’s image was tarnished by a BJP leader after he levelled corruption charges in a mining case,” he said.

Asked which is a more dangerous party between BJP and Congress, Gowda said, “How do I say who is the better evil?”

Gowda also questioned BJP’s claim of having people’s mandate, saying “If I support BJP, the Congress has to sit in the opposition, and if I support Congress, the BJP has to sit in the opposition. Who is saying BJP enjoys the mandate.”

Asked about the intriguing drama being unfolded even for a city corporation, Gowda ruled out any horse-trading.

“Let me tell you with great responsibility. Nobody can indulge in horse-trading. No Operation Kamala this time, that BJP crafted in 2009.Nobody can touch(my corporators),”he said.

BJP has accused the Congress of indulging in horsetrading to gain control of BBMP. The Congress is working on ways to thwart BJP from ruling BBMP for a second term but the party is reportedly divided over taking help from JDS.

Upsetting Congress plans to wrest control of the BBMP council, BJP won 100 wards out of 198, as the results were declared on Tuesday for the polls held on August 22. Congress had bagged 76, JD(S) bagged 14 and others eight.

With one independent Corporator joining BJP, the party has increased its tally to 101.

Besides Corporators, the 255-member BBMP Council includes 57 other members from Bengaluru with voting rights. They include Members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, MLAs and MLCs.

With the magic number to gain control over BBMP being 128, BJP’s strength including non-corporator members stands at 125, Congress’ at 101, JD(S) 21 and others at eight.

PTI