The JD-S leader issued a categorical rebuttal that he has not changed his stand over the nuclear deal and went on to clarify that his party will vote against the UPA alliance.
He told rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt, "My party has taken the decision to vote against the motion of no-confidence and it remains unchanged. The nuclear deal is not the reflection of the nation's mood. It does not represent the people's wish."
When asked why his party has taken a stance against the nuclear deal, Deve Gowda said, "My party has three MPs in Parliament and we are given merely three minutes to speak. My colleague Veerendra Kumar will speak on the matter. I can only say that (External Affairs Minister) Pranab Mukherjee went back on his assurance to (Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary) Prakash Karat that the government would come back to the Left parties before going to the International Atomic Energy Agency. But as soon as Mukherjee boarded the flight for Vienna, he changed his stance and broke the promise. I would like to know why?"
"There is no question of voting in favour of the government because what is happening in Delhi is not a reflection of the opinion of the common man in the country," Deve Gowda said. "All kinds of dirty things are going on here (Delhi)."
Earlier on Monday, he had said he has not endorsed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati as the next prime minister. He said his prime focus at the moment was the trust vote and a decision on the future course of action would be taken after that. Deve Gowda then remained non-committal on whether he would attend the United National Progressive Alliance meeting on Wednesday. On Sunday he had announced that a document on the Manmohan Singh government's performance would be released at the Wednesday meeting.
Sources close to Deve Gowda say he likes to keep people guessing and never arrives at a decision until the last minute. They say he believes the more you keep people guessing, the better it is for his politics. Deve Gowda, his aides say, feels that making hasty decisions when there is political uncertainty makes parties take you for granted.
Deve Gowda, the sources say, will surely vote against the UPA, but it will take some convincing before he endorses Mayawati as a prime ministerial candidate. The former prime minister wants to play a bigger role in the Third Front along with his sons.