Janata Dal Secular supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Monday did not rule out the possibility of his party emerging as a "king" in the May 5 Assembly elections in Karnataka, witnessing a multi-cornered contest also involving BJP, Congress and Karnataka Janatha Paksha.
Gowda, whose party had run coalitions with Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, said that in politics, "nobody should be pessimistic" and cited the examples of Bahujan Samaj Party and SP which had emerged on their own in Uttar Pradesh.
When asked if his party would be a king or kingmaker, Gowda replied, "Why not king?. I am not saying this with exaggeration."
Gowda was replying to a query at a meet-the-press programme organised by the Bangalore Reporters Guild and Press Club of Bangalore.
JDS headed by Gowda's son and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is contesting 223 of the total 224 Assembly seats. It derives strength mainly from the Vokkaliga community belt but is seeking to widen its base, wooing many a candidate from rival parties.
At the same time, he said, he would not find fault if the Congress hoped to return to power after nearly eight years or the ruling BJP expected to remain in the saddle. "How people will vote, nobody can make a guess."
He parried a query as to which party JDS would support in case of a hung verdict, saying at the state level, regional parties had opportunities to come to power on their own.
On assertions by BJP and Congress that no coalition government could be formed at the Centre without support of either of them, he said both the national parties were scouting for allies which "is a reality."
Asked whether the third front would try to win over Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar or "allow him to go to Congress" as he was pitching for a "secular prime minister" in relation to his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, Gowda said he did not like to discuss individuals.
On whether he would contest the next Lok Sabha polls, he quipped, "I have never said I will retire from politics. Wait and see." He added his contesting would depend on his health.