Reporters were asking HD Deve Gowda questions pertaining to the Assembly elections when one of them asked him about mid-term polls in Karnataka.

Deve Gowda says mid-term polls in Karnataka imminent but clarifies its for local bodyPTI Image
news Politics Friday, June 21, 2019 - 16:59

JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda, during an interaction with the media on Friday, claimed that mid-term polls are imminent in Karnataka as he is unsure how long the JD(S)-Congress coalition government will continue in the state, given the internal conflicts.

The former Prime Minister was interacting with the media after performing yoga at his residence in Bengaluru, to mark the 5th International Yoga Day, when he made the statement. The reporters were asking questions pertaining to the Assembly elections when one of them asked Deve Gowda about mid-term polls in Karnataka.  

"There is no doubt that there will be mid-term polls. They (the Congress) said they will be supporting us all along but we are watching the developments. Our people are smart and this is not something you (the media) have to tell us about. We have seen so much, all that has happened in this country," Deve Gowda said.  

However, he later clarified this statement, stating that he was referring to mid-term polls for local body elections and not the Karnataka Assembly.

 Deve Gowda further added that he had suggested that Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge should have become the Chief Minister of the state last year. “Why did they (the Congress) come to us? Because (BS) Yeddyurappa had taken oath (as the Chief Minister) and then they came to us asking my son to become the CM. I suggested Mallikarjun Kharge should be CM," he said, speaking to reporters about the frantic circumstances in which HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka in May 2018.

After the results threw up a hung verdict, JD(S) and Congress joined forces to form the government in the state. But a year later, in 2019, the future of the coalition government is uncertain, particularly after both parties faced a humbling defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Deve Gowda’s statement on Friday comes just days after he met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and requested him to ensure that Congress leaders in Karnataka refrained from publicly discussing the coalition government in the state.

The meeting came in the wake of reports that former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had suggested that the Congress is better off withdrawing support to the coalition government in Karnataka. 

CM HD Kumaraswamy even bemoaned the internal conflicts affecting the functioning of the coalition government.

Recently, two independent MLAs, R Shankar and H Nagesh, were inducted into the Karnataka cabinet, overlooking senior Congress leaders. The decision had not gone down well with several Congress leaders, who were expecting to be part of the cabinet.

Read: How Congress's weak national image makes it unlikely to leave Karnataka’s coalition govt

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.