BENGALURU/KALABURAGI: While Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrashekar Rao is busy drumming up support for a Federal Front, former Prime Minister and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda has other plans. He will embark on a mission in the national capital after May 23 to put in place an alliance of regional parties to support Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the top post in the country.
“Immediately after the Lok Sabha election results are announced, my father Deve Gowda will approach leaders of all opposition parties and try to bring consensus on making Congress president Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister,” Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy told TNIE.
Making it clear that JDS will fully back the Congress president for the top post, the Karnataka CM seemed confident there is no possibility of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) returning to power.
“In the current scenario, it is impossible for the NDA to come back to power at the Centre. Narendra Modi’s desperation can be seen in his recent statements and the issues that he is taking up. He has lost the appeal that he enjoyed in 2014 and people have now started doubting him. It is more so in North India,” Kumaraswamy stressed.
He said it may become necessary for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to have post-poll alliances with regional parties to form the next government. The JDS patriarch is likely to initiate that process. But it all depends on the number of seats BJP and its allies and the Congress and its allies will win.
In Karnataka, the JDS and Congress formed an alliance after the 2018 assembly polls in the state threw up a fractured mandate with BJP as the single largest party. The combine fought the 2019 Lok Sabha polls together — Congress contested from 21 and JDS from seven seats.
The CM admitted that differences among the coalition partners, especially during campaigning for the polls, will have an impact on the results.
“Together, we will win 16-18 seats in the state. We would have won 25 seats if the coalition partners had campaigned in all constituencies keeping aside the differences. We have to accept that it has not happened,” the CM admitted.
Deve Gowda is contesting from Tumkur, represented by Congress in the outgoing Lok Sabha, while his two grandsons Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna are contesting from Mandya and Hassan, respectively.
“Of the seven seats contested by JDS, we will win five. Victory in Mandya, Tumkur and Hassan is sure,” the CM said. The CM had spent considerable time campaigning for his actor-son Nikhil, who is pitted against actress Sumalatha Ambareesh, an independent candidate backed by BJP.