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'This is loot'

May 18, 2018 08:20 IST

'The BJP is using all the central agencies at its disposal (to undermine us).'
'We are also taking care that our MLAs are not poached.'

Karnataka's new Chief Minister Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa. Photograph: PTI Photo

IMAGE: Newly sworn-in Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa flashes the victory sign after his swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru, May 17, 2018. Photograph: PTI Photo

Danish Ali, national secretary-general of the Janata Dal-Secular, is his party's man of the moment.

He is co-ordinating with the Congress party to ensure that his leader, H D Kumaraswamy, gets to form a coalition government in Karnataka.

"No JD-S MLA has gone missing. All our MLAs are together," Ali tells Rediff.com's Syed Firdaus Ashraf.

 

What is the situation right now in Karnataka?

The case is in the Supreme Court. We are also taking care that our MLAs are not poached.

The BJP is using all the central agencies at its disposal (to undermine us). But we are confident that Kumaraswamy will be the next chief minister of Karnataka.

The JD-S and the Congress fought each other in the election. Don't you think that hence, a post-poll alliance cannot be done and the party with the largest number of seats, the BJP in this case, must be called to form the government?

Post-poll alliance works.

The Congress and JD-S are ideologically closer.

57 percent of Karnataka's voters voted for us, who are secular and democratic, to keep the BJP out. So we are bound to have this alliance.

During the election campaign, Congress President Rahul Gandhi called your party the 'BJP's B team'.

Whatever happened has happened, but we will not let the BJP murder democracy.

We will introspect and we will see to it that in future these things do not happen.

We have to keep the BJP out.

But this is an opportunistic alliance, isn't it?

This is not at all an opportunistic alliance.

The Congress and JD-S don't have an opportunistic alliance, but an ideological alliance.

Your party always wanted to be the king in Karnataka and not the kingmaker everyone said you were.
Right now you are neither king nor kingmaker as you have lost the opportunity.

We know how the BJP demolishes institutions. One by one, they are demolishing institutions.

The governor's institutions also they are misusing, whether it is Goa, Manipur or Meghalaya.

The people of this country are watching. Don't undermine the intellect of the people of this country.

We are the largest democracy in the world and at the same time we are a more mature democracy.

The people have taught a lesson to whosoever who has tried to subvert democracy.

The people will teach the BJP a lesson, just wait.

Do you think the BJP poaching your MLAs is possible?

The fear is there, but we will fight back. We will take all precautions.

Reports say some Janata Dal-S MLAs are missing.

No JD-S MLA has gone missing. All our MLAs are together.

Do you fear some of your MLAs may abstain from voting so that B S Yeddyurappa can win the confidence vote?

We are taking care of everything. We are using all options available.

Legal or political, democratic options, whatever is available, we are using that.

Isn't 15 days a long time to prove a majority?

First of all, the governor should not have invited Yeddyurappa to form the government.

He has 104 MLAs and we have 117 MLAs. This itself is untenable.

In this scenario the governor is inviting Yeddyurappa at 9 pm and asking him to take oath at 9 am the next day!

We have never heard this sort of thing in a newly elected assembly where there is so much competition between two parties trying to form the government.

Moreover, we have already staked our claim with 117 MLAs and still the BJP got 15 days time to prove its majority.

This is loot.

Will you tie up with the Congress for the 2019 elections?

100 percent.

Both the Congress and JD-S will come together to fight the 2019 elections. You will see that the BJP will be wiped out from the country.

It is not Karnataka alone.

Our leader (former prime minister H D Deve Gowda) is in touch with all regional parties. We will see to it that we accept the challenge from the BJP.

The JD-D joined hands with the BJP earlier. Your rivals allege that your party cannot be trusted.

Kumaraswamy has already clarified those allegations. He said that whatever black spot he was having, he took those steps due to the hard circumstances then.

He wants to wash that out and therefore he is aligning with the Congress today.

The past is the past.

Why did the BJP gain more seats than the Congress and Janata Dal-S?

We will have to analyse each constituency result. There are some mistakes.

At this moment we do not want to blame each other. Our priority is to keep the BJP out.

Syed Firdaus Ashraf / Rediff.com