Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday sought to take a swipe at the former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda-headed JD (S), saying it should not call itself a secular party after forging an electoral alliance with the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
JD(S) on Friday decided to ally with the BJP following a meeting of its leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy (Gowda’s son) with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national President J P Nadda in New Delhi.
”They have now made an alliance with BJP for elections, what should we call them?” Siddaramaiah asked in response to questions by reporters at Konanakere in this district.
”Name says secular. Are they secular now? Should we accept what they say ? Even after going with a communal party, still they are secular? Should we accept ? Let them go with BJP or anybody we don’t have objections. But they should not say they are secular, that ‘s all. They should not say that Janata Dal is a secular party”, the CM said JD(S) had earlier formed governments in coalition with both BJP and Congress respectively for 20 months from January 2006, and for 14 months from May 2018, with Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister.
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Earlier today, Kumaraswamy hit out at Congress’ leaders for alleging that Deve Gowda has proved JD(S) is ‘b-team’ of BJP by allying with them, and said had he gone with BJP on the invite of Shah, instead of with Congress, after 2018 Assembly polls, he could have run the government for full five years.
Accusing the Congress of ‘destroying’ secular forces across the country, Kumaraswamy alleged they even tried to ”finish off” the JD(S) after having an alliance with the party.
Noting that JD(S) did not send Siddaramaiah out of the party, Kumaraswamy alleged that in 2004 Siddaramaiah had tried to meet the then BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu in Chennai for having an understanding and forming a government.
Responding to this, Siddaramaiah said: ”I have not met Venkaiah Naidu. It’s true that I had met (L K) Advani. Advani was (earlier) in Janata Party, that’s how I know him and I had met him”.