Alliance not beyond Vidhana Soudha: Deve Gowda

Bengaluru: The Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency where polls will be held on Monday May 28 and which saw a last mile campaign blitz by JD(S) supremo H. D. Deve Gowda as well as the Congress’ Vokkaliga strongman D.K. Shivakumar, underlined the fragility of the JD(S)-Congress coalition that chanted the unity mantra in the Assembly for the crucial floor test but didn’t think twice before attacking each other during Saturday's stepped up electioneering.

Unwilling to acknowledge that the JD(S)' move to fight for the seat, could split the Vokkaliga vote on the ground, possibly gifting the opposition BJP an easy victory, Mr. Deve Gowda on Saturday fired the first salvo by laying down the boundary for the nascent coalition. 

"I want to make it clear that the coalition (JD-S and Congress) is restricted only to Vidhana Soudha," the former PM said, all but shooting down hopes of a 2019 all party anti-BJP opposition.

He was campaigning for the party candidate, G. Ramachandra at Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency, much to the chagrin of Congress' Vokkaliga stalwarts D.K. Shivakumar and his brother D.K. Suresh (above). 

The Congress candidate Muniratna, accused of buying votes after EPIC cards were found in an apartment building in his constituency, has close links with the JD(S) as well, given that he is producing a movie which stars the son of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. 

BJP opposition leader B.S.Yeddyurappa was also campaigning in the constituency on Saturday where fake EPIC cards forced the Election Commission to postpone the vote.

Mr Gowda did not mince words when he said that it was his duty to save the party's interests in RR Nagar which will go to polls on Monday. " We are not at the mercy of anyone. So, party workers have to fight to save the party," Mr Gowda said.

Mr Gowda launched a veiled attack on the Congress and BJP during his campaign at different places. He asked, "All those who had said that the votes cast to JD (S) would go to BJP, what will they say now (after we entered into a coalition). At least now, people should realise the commitment of the JD (S). We were the one who gave the Bengaluru mayor post to a Muslim leader."  

He was quick to clear the confusion that may arise out of his statement. "I did not come here to harm the relations built with the coalition partner. This is an election. We know what the Congress candidate has done. There is nothing to eulogise the Congress candidate for and a case is pending before the Election Commission of India. We have fielded our candidate as  per the wishes of our BBMP corporators," he said.

Without naming BJP, he said that the JD (S) need not wait for a certificate from those who were criticising the JD (S) as father-and-son party. "Very soon, they will be exposed," he said.

Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Saturday said there are some "issues" on portfolio allocation with his party's coalition partner Congress but it is not something that will pull down the government.

He also said the expansion of his Cabinet would take place once state Congress leaders get an approval from their high command. "..Portfolios have not been allocated. There are some issues regarding portfolios, but it is not an issue that will pull down the government…," Kumaraswamy told reporters here.

Congress leaders Saturday meanwhile left for Delhi to discuss with the party high command the issues of Cabinet expansion and allocation of portfolios. 

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