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The Rediff Interview/Janata Dal-S MP Shivanna
'No amount of money can change my stand'
July 19, 2008
Shivanna, who is camping in New Delhi ahead of the trust vote, spoke with rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa about what his party's stand should be.
What does Mr Deve Gowda want from the prime minister?
I do not know. He has not told me anything. All he has said that everything would be transparent and I could accompany him during his meeting with the prime minister.
What do you think your party should demand?
I think long term my party would benefit if it goes along with the Congress. Ideally, Gowda should ask for a Cabinet berth in the Union government. This would help us build the party and a tie-up for us with the Congress is always good, keeping in mind the forthcoming elections.
Have you conveyed this to Mr Deve Gowda and what does he say about it?
I have conveyed this to him. He has not said anything as yet. He would need some time to decide.
My information is that Mr Deve Gowda has agreed to your suggestion and even proposes to make his son Mr H D Kumaraswamy a Cabinet minister.
I don't want to say anything about that. If he is planning to ask for a Cabinet berth for a party member, then it is good.
But this gets us back to the issue of Mr Deve Gowda promoting his own family yet again. Don't you think it is unfair since you are an MP and Mr Kumaraswamy is not?
Look here, do not try and create a controversy. So what if Gowda wants to make Kumaraswamy a Union minister. He has the experience and a berth in the Union government is good for the party and he is capable of building the party. He is not a raw hand and has been a chief minister. So definitely it is not as though experience is a problem here.
Are you sure that you are not unhappy?
I know Deve Gowda will not do any injustice to me. I cannot aspire for anything and everything. Gowda is the party boss and his decision will be final. However, let me tell you. If at all, I am offered the post of a Union minister, then I will be only too happy to accept it. But let us keep one thing in mind. The interest of the party is above all and even our party supremo knows it.
So tell us what do you plan to do during the trust vote?
Nothing is clear now. We have authorised Deve Gowda to take a decision and I know he will take the best decision. We have to weigh the pros and cons. According to me aligning with the Congress will be good for the growth of our party. I leave to Deve Gowda. I don't want to say too much about this.
Is your party united in its stand?
Tell me more sir.
Isn't my answer sufficient? It says it all.
How much has the Congress offered you?
What are you saying? Just because the others are alleging that they have been bribed, that does not mean even I am in line. Look here, nobody has approached me so far and I am not open to any offer in future also. My only interest is the development of my party and any decision taken should be in the interest of the party and no amount of money can change my stand.
The Rediff Interviews
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