Former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda Friday said there was no doubt that there would be mid-term polls in Karnataka. His statement comes in the wake of strained ties between the JD(S)-Congress coalition government.
“There is no doubt that there will be mid-term polls (in Karnataka). They (Congress) said they will support us for five years but look at their behaviour now,” Gowda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. He was speaking to reporters in Bengaluru.
After Gowda’s remarks raised alarm bells within the coalition, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy clarified that his government was safe and said that his father has been misunderstood.
“What he has said is that be prepared for the urban local body elections. Deve Gowda has not said that the assembly election will take place. He has given a clarification also. There is no question of mid-term polls. The government will continue for the next four years,” he said.
Kumaraswamy also said the government would focus on rectifying its mistakes.
Leaders of both JD(S) and Congress have been publicly airing their differences after the alliance put up a poor show in the Lok Sabha elections in the state — the parties won one seat each. The BJP had won 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats.
Gowda told the media Thursday that he had informed Congress president Rahul Gandhi that he was hurt by repeated public utterances by leaders of both parties.
When asked about statements made by Congress leader Siddaramaiah, Gowda said, “I don’t want to react now; there is ample time.” Siddaramaiah had reportedly said the Congress would have performed better if it had contested the general elections alone.
BJP’s state president B S Yeddyurappa said there was no need for a mid-term poll and that people would not like it. He said the BJP would not let it happen and, if required, would form the government.
“I want to make it clear that we will not let the mid-term poll happen. We are 105 (MLAs). If they have the capability, then let them continue or else, let them go. We will run the government. People will not accept election within a year and there is no need for it,” Yeddyurappa said.
The JD(S) and Congress had cobbled up an alliance after the Karnataka Assembly elections last year to keep the BJP away from forming government. Together they won 114 seats (Congress won 77 and JD(S) 37) in the 224-member Assembly.