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K'taka: How Gowda's political game backfired
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore
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Political Crisis in Karnataka
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November 21, 2007 13:51 IST
When Janata Dal-Secular supremo Deve Gowda issued a whip to all his MLAs to vote against the Bharatiya Janata Party during the confidence motion, he was hopeful of an alternate deal with the Congress. He wanted to form the government with Congress' support and make his son, H D Revanna, the chief minister.

But Deve Gowda's political games have ostracised him completely, with all political parties keeping a safe distance from him. His trip to Delhi to woo the Congress turned out to be unsuccessful and he will now return to Bangalore empty handed.

Before leaving for Delhi, Gowda had said, "My work here is over and I shall return after a week." Sensing his motives, senior Congress leaders in Karnataka convinced their high command in Delhi that a deal with the JD-S would be the worst possible thing to happen to the party.

Senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar were vocal in their opinion and convinced the high command against Gowda's offer.

By the time Gowda reached New Delhi, the Congress high command had already made up its mind to turn down his offer. When the former prime minister wanted an appointment at 10 Janpath, he was made to wait for a considerable period. He failed to get an appointment with either Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images].

After a long wait at his Safdarjung residence, he finally met senior Congress leaders  Priyaranjan Dasmunshi and Prithiviraj Chauvan. However, the Congress led-government had already decided to recommend the dissolution of Karnataka assembly before the meeting.

So what will be Gowda's next move? He will have to return to Bangalore empty handed and chalk out a plan for the upcoming elections. The JD-S supremo will also have to tackle the dissent brewing among his partymen. Several JD-S MLAs want to either join the BJP or the Congress as the possibility of winning on a JD-S ticket seems to be dim.

Meanwhile, Deve Gowda's son and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy is planning to float his own party to keep the dissenting MLAs together.

But Gowda has a reputation of bouncing back even after being completely written off by his political opponents. After a crushing defeat in the 1999 state elections, the JD-S had come back to power in 2004 and Gowda had assumed the role of kingmaker.

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