Doors shut on JD(S) ties? DK won’t say so

Bengaluru: It appears the JD(S) could still play kingmaker in the coming poll as Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Friday  dismissed  suggestions that Congress president Rahul Gandhi had closed the doors of an alliance with it in case of a fractured mandate by calling it a B-team of the BJP.

But then he hurriedly insisted that such an eventuality would not arise as there would be no hung assembly in the state as the Congress was confident of winning over 132 seats in the coming poll.

The Minister, who was participating in a Meet the Press programme of the Press Club of Bangalore and the Bangalore Reporters' Guild here, said the uncertainty in the BJP, on the other hand, was clearly visible due to PM Modi’s flip-flop on JD(S). “Look at the way he tried to embrace JD(S) by praising Mr Deve Gowda one day. That he made a U-turn the next is a different issue. This shows the BJP has realised it cannot come to power on its own,'' he contended, adding,  “Whether the JD(S) and BJP want to have any kind of alliance is left to them. As a political party, the Congress only wanted JD(S) to make its secular credentials  clear to the public.”

Asked about his softening stand on JD(S) and especially its chief Deve Gowda, the Minister was dismissive of  such speculation. “When I was young, I used to be rude and spoke harshly about others. But now I am older and people have advised me to be more polite. Otherwise, I am still a political rival of JD(S),'' he said.

Coming down hard on the PM for his critical comments on Bengaluru, he recalled that during  Pravasi Bharat Divas in the city he had wooed global investors by saying it had the best infrastructure.

“Now, what has it done to be called a garbage city and other names? This is nothing but a political gimmick to get votes,'' he contended.

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