Once in alliance government with the Congress, JDS supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on Saturday opened up on his “bitter experience” with the grand old party after its dismal performance in recent assembly elections in five states.
“We had a bitter experience with the Congress. Not bothered about it anymore, neither forging a pre-poll or post-poll alliance with it in Karnataka,” Gowda told News18, adding that all regional parties should come together.
The former PM further said that JDS tried to approach Congress twice for a tie-up but failed. “If Congress is not interested let them contest all 545 seats on their own. Who is bothered?” he asked.
Gowda also advised Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to not go to Congress’s door. “She is a strong leader herself. Why go to Sonia Gandhi’s party if they aren’t interested,” he said and added that he wants to now focus on party building in Karnataka.
The JDS and Congress entered into an alliance after 2018 Karnataka assembly elections threw up an inconclusive verdict. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, it was short of a simple majority by nine seats in the 224-member assembly (one additional member is nominated).
The Congress with 78 seats (it won two more later in bypolls) and JD(S) with 37 seats decided to form an alliance to keep the BJP out of power. At the time, the Congress had its national compulsions – general elections were just a year away — and the JD(S) that had been out of power for 10 years was more than willing.
The alliance, however, collapsed in 15 months after chief minister HD Kumaraswamy lost the trust vote, following string of resignations by lawmakers of the ruling Congress and Janata Dal Secular.
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