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Deve Gowda defends JDS poll pact with BJP, says Congress out to destroy secular forces

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In a press conference held on Wednesday, JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda justified his party’s recent alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He took the opportunity to launch a scathing attack on the Congress, accusing them of trying to dismantle secular forces in India while masquerading as champions of secular democracy.

Gowda clarified that the JD(S)’ alliance with the BJP does not signify a departure from their commitment to secular ideals. He emphasized their unwavering dedication to safeguarding the rights and interests of minority communities, asserting, “Even if we form a government with the BJP, we will not let go of minority protection. There should be no doubt that we will protect the minorities.”

He further criticized the Congress for what he described as their self-serving actions, driven by the desire to perpetuate political control within a single family. Gowda alleged that the Congress consistently sought to undermine the JD(S) whenever they formed an alliance with the national party.

Gowda pointed to the role of senior Congress leaders in Karnataka in the collapse of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in 2019. He raised questions about the Congress central leadership’s knowledge of these actions, adding that they failed to support JD(S) candidate B M Farooq in a Rajya Sabha election.

“Critics claim that Congress has committed one blunder after another while advocating for a secular democracy,” Gowda remarked.

Addressing concerns about the impact of the alliance on the regional party, Gowda revealed that the decision was made after extensive discussions with all 19 MLAs and 8 MLCs. He challenged the notion that any political party in India could claim to have no relationship with the BJP, citing instances of even some Left leaders aligning with the saffron party to challenge Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal.

Gowda emphasized that the alliance was not driven by opportunism but rather by a genuine commitment to saving the regional party, which he had dedicated 40 years of his life to building. Seat-sharing details between JD(S) and BJP have yet to be finalized, pending deliberations by the BJP Parliamentary Board.

Responding to reports of some Muslim community leaders severing ties with JD(S) following the alliance, Gowda reassured that his party would continue to protect minority interests. “Even if we form a government with BJP, we will not let go of minority protection. There should be no doubt. We will protect minorities,” he affirmed.

News Summary:

  • JD(S) Chief Deve Gowda defended the party’s alliance with BJP, asserting their commitment to secular ideals.
  • He accused the Congress of undermining secular forces while maintaining a facade of secularism.
  • Gowda criticized Congress for past actions and their failure to support JD(S) candidates.
  • The alliance with BJP was made after extensive discussions within the JD(S) and is not opportunistic, according to Gowda.
  • Seat-sharing details between JD(S) and BJP are pending BJP Parliamentary Board deliberations.
  • Gowda affirmed JD(S)’ dedication to protecting minority interests, addressing concerns of Muslim community leaders severing ties.
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