Udayavni Special

Gowda says he is yet to decide on contesting LS polls


Team Udayavani, Mar 20, 2019, 4:57 AM IST

Bengaluru: Maintaining suspense about contesting the Lok Sabha polls, JD(S) patriarch and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda Tuesday said he is yet to decide and been thinking about his ‘usefulness’ in the national capital.

The 85-year-old leader citing his age said he lacked the strength that he had in 1996, when he became the Prime Minister, but there is “enthusiasm”.

He also made it clear that the opponent of opposition parties now was the BJP and not the Congress and said he would stand along with Congress president Rahul Gandhi even if he was able to do even a bit for the country under his (Gandhi) leadership.

“From where should I be contesting or not to, I think I have that much of basic freedom to decide.let’s decide on it within a few days, there is no problem. But, I’m thinking to myself about my usefulness in Delhi, I’m watching it I will decide,” Gowda said.

Pointing out that in his speech at the last session of Parliament he had indicated it was his last speech, he said, but a few friends had asked him to contest this time.

“I’m yet to decide.” 

If he decided to contest, he along with coalition leaders, including his son and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah of Congress will decide on the constituency, he added.

Speculations are rife that Deve Gowda, who has conceded his constituencyHassan to grandson Prajwal Revanna, will contest from either Bangalore North or Tumkur constituency.

His another grandson and Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy is contesting from Mandya Lok Sabha seat, another party bastion.

Three years ago itself he had said he will vacate the Hassan seat for Prajwal in view of his age, Gowda said adding there was nothing to hide.

“Even while speaking in the Parliament. I spoke fully understanding my strengths,” he said, adding he did not have the strength that he had in 1996, when he became the Prime Minister, but there is ‘enthusiasm’.

“Our opponents today are not Congress, it is BJP. So if I’m able to do even a bit for this country under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, I can stand along with him Still I have not made up my mind.

“I’m still thinking, From other states also leaders are saying- you are an elderly person, having the experience of governing the country- it is a different matter, we will sit and decide…,” he added.

Sections within the Congress have requested JD(S) to give Tumkur seat back to the party, amid simmering discontent within the local leadership about ceding it to the alliance partner.

However, they would not oppose if Gowda himself contests from the seat, party sources said.

Though there is pressure within the JD(S) for Gowda to contest from Bangalore North, the party fears about Congress’ complete support there.

The Congress will contest 20 seats and JD(S) eight in the Lok Sabha polls in the state under a deal between the coalition partners finalised last week.

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