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'If Gowda issues a whip on trust vote, I will defy it'
Vicky Nanjappa

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July 18, 2008

While former prime minister H D Deve Gowda has sought more time to make a decision on whether to vote in favour of the Congress or not on July 22, his fellow Janata Dal-Secular MP Veerendra Kumar has already made his decision.

Veerendra Kumar is one of the three MPs from the JD-S, apart from H D Deve Gowda and Shivanna, who will be taking part in the trust vote on July 22.

In an interview with, Veerendra Kumar said there was no question of him going with the Congress as he is opposed to the nuclear deal and the anti-people policies of the Congress at the Centre:

Is your decision to vote against the Congress final?

Yes it is. Since day one I have maintained that I am opposed to voting in favour of the Congress and I think I have made that very clear.

Your party supremo H D Deve Gowda says that he needs more time to take a final decision. Why is he taking so much time?

I really don't know why there is this delay. I am sure that the JD-S will vote against the Congress on July 22. He has conveyed to me that he would be meeting the prime minister of Saturday following which a final decision will be taken. I have appealed to him to vote against the Congress and also conveyed the same to Shivanna, our other MP.

Did Gowda call you and convey any message regarding the trust vote?

Yes he did call me on Friday morning. He said that he respected my decision and also told me that he too would be voting against the Congress on July 22.

Will Gowda keep up his word?

I am sure that he would keep up his word as he has conveyed that to me. He is a former prime minister. So I am assuming he means what he says.

What if Gowda does an about turn and issues a whip to vote in favour of the Congress. You must be aware that your party has authorised him to take any decision in the interest of the party.

I feel that Gowda will not issue such a whip. Even if he does, mark my words I will disobey it. I maintain that I am against the Congress during the trust vote and nothing can change my mind. I am even ready to disobey the whip.

Has the prime minister made any sort of an offer to vote in favour of the government?

No. No offer has been made by anybody.

Gowda will be meeting the prime minister on Saturday. What sort of demands does he have?

I am not really aware of any demand. However, I maintain that he has conveyed to me that he would not go with the Congress and I take his word for it.

Is the party united while opposing the nuclear deal?

I am definitely opposed to the deal. I have conveyed to Deve Gowda that being the leader of the party in the Parliament, I will speak against the deal. He has agreed to the same. According to what Gowda has told me, he too is absolutely against the deal. In my opinion there is no confusion in the stand of the JD-S and all of us would oppose the deal and also vote against the Congress government.

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