Bangalore: The JD(S) on Sunday made an attempt to clear the doubts of Muslim leaders over the party’s 2006 alliance with the BJP in 2006. Addressing Muslim leaders from all across the state, JD (S) supremo Deve Gowda admitted that his son, former chief minister H D Kumarswamy had made a mistake by joining hands with the BJP to form a government. Gowda blamed the Congress for this.
“My son committed a mistake, but the Congress made him do it,” Gowda said. He added that Kumarswamy was not an ‘opportunist’ but the Congress leaders, who tried to divide JD(S) forced him to join hands with BJP. “We do not have to prove our secular credentials. I do not want to become the CM, as our secular credentials are more important. We have to fight for ideology and not power,” Gowda said.
Kumarswamy added that in 2004, when none of the political parties got majority, the JD(S) supported Congress. “But the Congress tried to divide our party. In such a scenario we had to inevitably join hands with the BJP,” the former chief minister said. Kumarswamy said though he had formed the government with the support of the BJP, he did everything to protect the interests of Muslim community. “But, he (Deve Gowda) still has that pain in his heart,” he said referring to his decision of forming the government with the saffron party.
Gowda, Kumarswamy and other leaders of the party listed out the number of minority welfare programmes taken up by the JD (S) goverment. The leaders accused the Congress of using Muslims as vote banks. Thousands of people from the community attended the programme, which seems to be an attempt to woo the community ahead of the next Assembly elections.
At the convention, some speakers recommended JD (S) MLA Zameer Ahmad Khan as the future deputy chief minister. “Kumarswamy will form the next government and he will make Zameer Ahmad Khan as his deputy. We will ask him to make that announcement here,” said Khan’s followers.
In the last two months, Deve Gowda had not attended any public meeting. Due to ill health he was mostly confined to meeting party leaders at his residence. But on Sunday, after seeing the huge gathering at the Palace Grounds, Gowda said, “I am feeling much better now.”