BSP, SP not going with Congress in MP, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh is not end of Grand Alliance against BJP: Devegowda

Bengaluru, Oct 20 (UNI) Janata Dal (S) President and former Prime Minister H D Devegowda, who has taken lead for Grand Alliance, today said that united opposition fight against the BJP in the 2019 general elections was being taken forward on expected lines and the decision of Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party not to go for pre-poll alliance in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh was not a setback.

Speaking at a joint press conference by Cong-JDS the coalition partners here, Mr Gowda said the two parties had launched such an alliance in Karnataka and it will be strengthened further at the national level by the time 2019 elections are fought.

Answering a question, he said, ‘don’t jump to a conclusion that ‘Maha Ghatbandhan’ has failed, it is only a minor development that the two regional parties are not going with Congress in the coming polls for the three States. The initiative has been taken and there is no going back on the issue. We have started the initiative in Karnataka with Congress and JD(S) arriving at a pre-poll understanding in the November 3 by-election to three Lok Sabha and two Assembly segments. You will see a new path being taken by the joint opposition of non-BJP parties inducing Congress and regional parties coming together to dethrone BJP at the Centre’.

He alleged that the BJP had put the country under grave danger of disunity and the happening in Jammu and Kashmir where BJP and PDP government was short lived and the State witnessed increased incidence of violence. Besides, the recent elections to local bodies witnessed a very low voter turnout ranging from 2 to 6 per cent.

He recalled his tenure as Prime Minister when he visited Kashmir for five times within a span of 10 months and the state election leading to installing National Conference-led government in the election where over 55 per cent of voters came to the pooling booths. Even United Nations had appreciated the then union government’s initiatives. But the present situation in the state was just opposite.

Mr Gowda said that the present coalition in Karnataka will lead to the revival of opposition unity against communal BJP and it will be thrown out of power in 2019. ‘Situation has come to such a state that all secular parties join hands to throw out BJP which is dividing people on communal lines and failed to keep up its promises made before 2014 elections, he added.

The JD(S) President said the Karnataka government was stable and will last full five years. He said the secret behind the success of this government will be that its leaders work without any self interest and in an impartial manner to the benefit people of Karnataka. ‘There are some irritants between the leaders of the two parties no doubt, but we have resolved to act unitedly and the workers of the two parties will also move together,’ he claimed.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who is also the Chairman of Coordination Committee of the Coalition government said the two parties will take the partnership forward and the immediate task was to win all five seats in the coming by-election. ‘Congress has agreed to leave two Lok Sabha seats Mandya and Shivamogga to JD(S) besides Ramanagara Assembly segment and we are contesting in Ballari LS segment and in Bagalkot assembly seat. This united fight will ensure that BJP will draw a blank in the coming polls. ‘To defeat communal BJP is our single motto. The united vision of the two alliance partners is to win all 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka in 2019,’ he added.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy came down against the BJP government at the centre for not responding to true calls of distress people in Karnataka, those affected due to Kodagu floods and landslips and other natural calamities. ‘BJP government is not responsive to people of Karnataka under duress. But the party is trying continuously to de-stabilise my government which will not come through,’ he said.