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‘JD(S) formed ally with Cong to prevent poaching’

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New Delhi/Bengaluru, March 1 (IANS) Almost a week after Mysuru Mayor was elected, former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (S) supremo H D Deve Gowda on Monday alleged that a section of leaders in Congress party planned to break JD (S) and elect their own mayor, which was prevented by JD(S) by forming an alliance with them.

He did not name anyone but amply dropped hints that Karnataka Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader, Siddaramaiah was behind it.

Gowda’s statements assume significance as ever since the Mayor was elected in Mysuru last week, differences between Siddarmaiah and KPCC president D K Shivakumar have come out in the open. Supporters of both leaders are taking dig at each other in public.

Gowda told reporters in New Delhi that neither Shivakuamr nor Mysuru Congress leader and Narasimaraj constituency MLA Tanveer Saith spoke with him. “Why would I lie, if someone had spoken with me, I would have accepted it. What is there hiding in it? I had instructed my party leaders, if Siddaramaiah demands that his party should be given the Mayor’s post, then the JD(S) should hand it over to the Congress but Siddarmaiah did not approach our party leaders. Locally, they decided to forge an alliance,” he explained.

He added that (his son) H D Kumaraswamy camped in Mysuru to prevent efforts of some Congress leaders to poach JD(S) members.

“Kumaraswamy thwarted their efforts. There is a hung verdict in Mysuru and Congress leaders were trying to poach more than 10 of our members in order to wrest the Mayor’s post. I had instructed my party local leaders and not Kumaraswamy to decide on their future course of action. As per this, the Mayor post came to us this time,” he explained.

According to him, for the last several years, some leaders who were in his party in the past and later joined the Congress are trying their best to poach JD(S) members.

“We will never allow this to happen. Siddaramaiah has never considered even to speak with our party on this matter. He has never liked our party, that is a different matter and he feels speaking to our party is below his dignity,” he said.

The JD(S) supremo said that if Siddaramaiah wanted the Mayor post for this party, he should have come forward and demanded it.

“We would have allowed the Congress to have it. But we wanted firm assurance from the Congress leaders that JD(S) should be allowed to have its mayor in Mysuru for the remaining two years. We wanted a firm assurance,” he said.

In the 65-member Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) BJP has 22 members, 19 from Congress and 18 from JD(S) besides five independents and one BSP member.

Siddaramaiah, who is from Mysuru, had hoped that the Congress would get the Mayor’s post this time as per the pact made between JD(S) and Congress in 2018. As per their pact, the Mayor’s post was reserved for the Congress for the first and third terms.

Accordingly, Congress corporator Pushpalatha Jagannath was the Mayor during the first term, and JDS corporator Tasneem served the post in the second term.

However, the Siddaramaiah supporters suspect Shivakumar had joined hands with fellow Vokkaliga Kumaraswamy to cut Siddaramaiah to size in his own home district. The power tussle between the former Chief Minister who wants to be ‘CM once again’ and the ‘CM in waiting’ is now out in the open.

Meanwhile, reacting to Mysuru Mayor episode, Shivakumar said that issue of electing Mayor in Mysuru is too small. “All is well in our party. The media should stop portraying it as a power tussle between me and Siddaramaiah. Siddaramaiah has gone to Delhi on a personal work,” he said.




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