In a major political development in Karnataka, former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda and former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah have come together to fight the BJP in the ensuing byelections.
The guru–shishya duo who fought and divided Karnataka politics have come together now in a show of strength to, what they call, defeat the Modi-Shah combine in the State.
Politically it has also given a message to the confused grass root level workers of both the JD(S) and the Congress to vote for the victory of joint candidates in the Lok Sabha and Assembly by-polls.
After fighting each other in the recent Assembly polls, they joined hands to keep the BJP away and formed a fragile coalition Government four months ago headed by HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) who has just 34 seats in the 224 House in the state.
In a joint press conference in Bengaluru to send a message of unity to fight the BJP, Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah insisted that they have to fight the common enemy the BJP led by Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah. Deve Gowda said, "For the first time in 12 years Siddaramaiah and I are on the same stage. For the first time, we’ll be contesting together in the upcoming bypolls. In all five seats, we will bring secularism with all our powers and the problems brought about by the Central Government," "I know many of our local leaders might not be able to digest this coalition, but we will work together to ensure that their concerns are addressed. I want to appeal to all local workers to cooperate in this great work. Please forgive our previous mistakes and bless us with votes," he added.
Top leaders of the coalition partners in the State put up the image of a united team. Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, home minister G Parameshwara, Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar shared stage in an attempt to boost the morales of their respective party workers to win the upcoming bypolls.
Gowda said "I will be visiting all constituencies and if the necessity arises we will campaign together. I will go wherever a joint rally is held. Our common enemy is BJP politically and ideologically. Defeating them is our responsibility. We are working together and there are no differences among us. This will be the beginning for the Lok Sabha polls."
The by polls to three Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies will be held on November 3, JDS will contest from Ramanagara assembly constituency, Shivamogga and Mandya Lok Sabha constituencies, the Congress will contest from Jamakhandi assembly and Ballari Lok Sabha constituencies.
Chief Minister Kumaraswamy son of Devegowda who is playing a compromising politics said "There might have been some differences at some point, but that’s all in the past. And even though they are two bodies, they are one soul. We are working together not just to win all five seats but all 28 Lok Sabha seats in 2019."
Meanwhile HD Deve Gowda said the country's secular parties will come together under the leadership of the Congress to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, denying reports that the grand alliance was losing its sheen. The Janata Dal-Secular supremo accused the BJP of indulging in politics of polarisation and exploiting public sentiments, be it the Ram temple issue or the ongoing Sabarimala row.
"Some development will take place before Parliament election (and) some will take place after the election is over." "Whatever may be the differences, they (secular parties) will come together under the leadership of the national party Congress to see to it that the BJP is not in power," he added.