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Siddaramaiah government most corrupt: Deve Gowda

By B D Narayanakar
April 20, 2018 18:19 IST
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Gowda said he would not comment on or criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi unless the latter traded charges against him.

IMAGE: Former PM H D Deve Gowda with Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao. Photographer: ANI

In a scathing attack on the Siddaramaiah government, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Friday described it as the 'most corrupt' administration the state has ever seen.

People would teach a lesson to the chief minister whose intention was to 'finish off' JD-S (Janata Dal-Secular), he said.

The JD-S supremo claimed that Siddaramaiah was 'staring' at defeat in his own constituency of Chamundeshwari in Mysuru in the May 12 assembly polls.

Gowda, in an interview to PTI, dismissed speculation that the polls might throw up a hung assembly.


He maintained that JD-S's alliance with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaja Party and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao's Telangana Rashtra Samithi had only brightened the party's electoral prospects.

"If Siddaramaiah has to contest from a particular constituency, he has to nurture it. He did not," Gowda said.

"He just began paying visits to Chamundeshwari for the last three months. This will not work. Defeat is staring at Siddaramaiah's face," he said.

Gowda said people vote for leaders who keep society together and do not divide as Siddaramaiah had done by proposing a separate religious minority tag for Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats.

He claimed Siddaramaiah's attempts to contest from two constituencies had created a negative perception about him.

"Siddaramaiah's attempts to contest also from Badami constituency, have created a public perception that the chief minister is not confident of winning Chamundeshwari seat. Our candidate, G T Deve Gowda, is a formidable candidate. He will defeat him," he said.

The Congress has announced that Siddaramaiah would contest from Chamundeshwari, amid reports that he is still keeping the option open to contest from Badami in north Karnataka, which is perceived to be a safer seat.

Reports suggest Siddaramaiah would face a tough battle in Chamundeshwari, with JD-S going all out to scuttle his chances.

"People also will teach a lesson to Siddaramaiah, whose intention is to finish off JDS, which nurtured him in his political career earlier," said Gowda for whom the chief minister, formerly a JD-S leader, has become a bitter rival.

To a query on Siddaramaiah's five-year rule, Gowda said 'it is the most corrupt government the state had'.

"I do not want to list the number of corruption charges against his government. There are many. People know," he said.

To a query, Gowda said he was not expecting a hung assembly.

"There are certain things which have brightened the prospects of JD-S, like our association with Mayawati's BSP, KCR's party and Assaduddin Owaisi. We are working hard, and there is no question of hung assembly," he said.

People would vote for JD-S as they have seen the 'misrule' of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the last ten years, Gowda said.

He said people were wise enough to vote for clean candidates, unlike some candidates fielded by the BJP and the Congress who were facing graft charges.

"The end result will be different. People understand the misrule of Congress and BJP for the last ten years. Just look at the candidates they have fielded... People are wise. Will they vote for such candidates?" he said.

Asked if the Lingayat controversy would benefit the Congress, Gowda said it is a wrong calculation because the community is very 'well-inclined' in politics and would not like to lose its political clout.

"However, it is very difficult to assess whom Lingayats would vote for."

On allegations he is soft on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gowda said he would not attack him needlessly.

"I do not want attack anybody needlessly..whatever may be Modi and Amit Shah's strategy to win elections," he said.

Gowda said he would not comment on or criticise the prime minister unless the latter traded charges against him.

"Why should I scratch my head and pounce on them," he said.

On Rahul Gandhi's dubbing JD-S as 'Team B' of BJP, Gowda said he was not going to use harsh words against him because 'he is still young'.

"Some people try to mislead him .... he should not get tempted over such things...he is still young. I am not going to use any harsh words against him," he added.

To another question, Gowda said he was least bothered about Congress and BJP perceiving JD-S as an irrelevant party.

"Let them have the impression that my party is an irrelevant party in this election. Let them have it till May 15 (counting of votes). I am least bothered," he said.

Gowda said he is ready to give tickets to disgruntled leaders belonging to Congress or BJP, who have been ignored by their parties, after considering their chances of winning.

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B D Narayanakar in Bengaluru
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