Bengaluru, Sep 27 (IANS): After JD(S) supremo H. D. Deve Gowda defended poll pact with the BJP and attacked the Congress for chiding the party on secular values, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah hit back saying that "post stitching an alliance with the saffron party, JD(S) should not call itself secular".
Addressing a joint press conference with his son, former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda said, "They (Congress) had defeated Farooq Abdullah. The Congress party has committed blunders. I can give 100 examples of Congress betraying the JD (S) party. We don't care for anything.
"We have not thought about doing away with secular principles. We will do anything to keep the secular values intact. I proclaim it," Deve Gowda said.
"Before Kumaraswamy’s meeting with BJP leaders, I had discussed with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. There is no need to hide. I explained in detail the situation of Karnataka and asked him to set things right and later Kumaraswamy met him. I won’t allow any community to meet with injustice,” he stated.
Deve Gowda said: "Who is responsible for the present situation in Karnataka? Who dethroned Kumaraswamy’s government in the state? Who sent 17 MLAs to Mumbai and allowed the BJP government to come to power in the state?Let’s discuss."
"Kumaraswamy never went to anyone seeking the post of Chief Minister. They (Congress) had come to my doorstep. I had initially refused but later I was pressured. I have never practised power politics. JD (S) was branded as BJP's B-team through Rahul Gandhi," Deve Gowda said.
“When the alliance was done with Congress, I have seen what conspired. Now, they are talking about an alliance with the BJP party. Should one family rule this country?" Deve Gowda said.
“I had a discussion with Union Home Minister Amit Shah as PM Modi was busy. I have discussed with all legislators and MLCs,” Deve Gowda said.
Kumaraswamy claimed that when JD(S) had forged an alliance with the Congress party, he had got a call from Amit Shah. "If I would have agreed, I would have become the CM for five years. I respected the words of Deve Gowda and went with Congress," Kumaraswamy underlined.
"Congress is destroying secular parties. It started in 2004. Reacting to resignations of Muslim leaders from JD(S), he said, this is common in politics. For six decades, we have seen the pain taken by Deve Gowda. No one has taken steps to ensure their safety like Deve Gowda. It is not a shocker to me," he said.
Counterattacking JD (S) for joining hands with BJP, Siddaramaiah said, "JD(S) should not call itself secular after forging alliance with the communal party."
Responding to mediapersons near Government Tribal Ashram School Konanakere, CM Siddaramaiah said that we have no problem with JD(S) alliance with BJP or any other party.
"We don’t bother," he said.
Reacting to former Chief Minister Kumaraswamy's statement that he would have been the Chief Minister for five years if JD(S) had been the B team of the BJP, the CM questioned, what should JD (S) be called which has allied with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections.
JD (S) should not claim to be secular, he said.
Responding to a media query on whether Siddaramaiah had met BJP's Venkaiah Naidu in 2004, he said it was true that he met BJP senior leader L. K. Advani when he was in the Janata Party.