Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the Congress of entering into a ‘secret’ alliance with H D Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) ahead of the Assembly elections slated for next week. Addressing a public meeting in Tumakuru earlier in the day, Modi said the Congress and JDS were only pretending to fight the polls.
“If anyone is protecting the Congress, it is the JD(S). The Congress and JD(S) have a secret understanding, an understanding behind the curtains. They pretend to fight in parts of Karnataka but in Bengaluru, the JD(S) supported a Congress mayor, who is sitting in the office. What is the deal between these two parties?” Modi said.
He added, “Why are you hiding this? Congress should have the courage to speak out the truth to people.”
Modi, however, insisted that he still had respect for the JD(S) patriarch and that the latter should live for 100 years and serve the society. Only two days ago, the prime minister had lavished praise on Gowda. While addressing a rally in the state, Modi had said, “I hold the door open for Gowda when he visits me, I escort him to the car door when he leaves. That is the respect a former PM deserves, which others (like Congress president Rahul Gandhi) do not understand.”
Pre-poll surveys on the elections to the 225-member Karnataka House, that includes one nominated member, have projected a hung assembly, with the JD(S) emerging as kingmaker.
“JDS will lose the election. There is no one to ask them. But JDS has done a big disservice as they have invited from other states extremist (ativadi) and highly communalist (ati-sampradayvadi) forces and those who support extremism into Karnataka and have formed an alliance with them,” Modi said. Gowda expressing confidence of a victory said, “In fact, the JDS is confident of forming the government on its own with the cooperation of TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu, Chandrasekhar Rao (of TRS) and other friends in political arena… I do not expect a hung assembly,” he said.