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Home > India > News > PTI

Gowda speaks on tie-ups & life's darkest day

Santosh K Joy in New Delhi | March 13, 2008 12:05 IST

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The need for a third front, by the anti-Congress and anti-BJP 'forces', will only be felt after the Lok Sabha polls, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said in New Delhi on Thursday.

Gowda led the Third Front, a group of regional parties and non-Congress and non-BJP combine, in 1996 when he became the prime minister following the general elections at that time.

Efforts like the United National Progressive Alliance are a 'result of some honest efforts but the real third force will come into being only in the post-poll scenario', he said while disagreeing that a third force was already in place.

"All of them who are fighting the BJP and Congress will be forced to come together after the Lok Sabha elections," the Janata Dal-Secular supremo told PTI.

He said if elections in Karnataka were not held before May, when the President's rule in the state comes to an end, then it might be coupled with the Lok Sabha polls.

However, Gowda, who represents the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency, declined to reveal his role in the party in the post-poll scenario saying, 'after the elections are over if some friends ask for my co-operation, I will have no problem.'

The 75-year old veteran socialist claimed his relationship with Congress leadership was 'never strained' though he was pained by the fact that none in the Congress camp tried to 'acknowledge' his efforts to keep away BJP.

"I have said it many times, the day Kumaraswamy (his son) joined hands with BJP it was the darkest day of my political career. But even after we left the BJP, none in Congress ever tried to acknowledge my conscious efforts to distance from the saffron party," Gowda said.

Kumaraswamy allied with the BJP 'against party's high command' to form his government in Karnataka unseating the Dharan Singh-led Congress regime which the JD-S had supported earlier.

"I believe, Kumaraswamy's action may have tarnished the party's image, but it also saved the party from the evil designs of the BJP and Congress," he said.

"My relationship with Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] and Prime Minister Manmohan has never been strained and we enjoy a relationship of respect," he added.

The JD-S supremo said the foundations of his party were shaken due to the 'evil designs' of the BJP and Congress and his first priority was to revive JD(S) in Karnataka.

"Numbers decide things. My humble opinion is to strengthen the party in Karnataka first whose base is shaken by the evil designs. It is in the hands of 5.5 crore people of Karnataka what role JD-S has to play in the future politics," he said.

When asked if Mayawati was a force in the southern state and whether he would align with her party BSP in the upcoming assembly polls, he said, "she has some base, but I am not of the opinion to go to anyone's door for support. I have taken a position to confine myself to strengthen my party first."

On many of his state leaders leaving JD-S to join either Congress or the BJP, he said, "It is good. Now our party is purged of such elements. It will only help us in the elections."

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