Shivakumar pans Kumaraswamy for taking BJP leaders along with him to meet key pontiff

Shivakumar pans Kumaraswamy for taking BJP leaders along with him to meet key pontiff

PTI | Bengaluru | Updated: 10-04-2024 15:42 IST | Created: 10-04-2024 15:42 IST
Shivakumar pans Kumaraswamy for taking BJP leaders along with him to meet key pontiff
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Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday criticised JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy for taking along BJP leaders, who had allegedly brought down the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition government, to meet a pontiff of an influential math of the community.

Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji is the head of the Adichunchanagiri Math, which is revered by the Vokkaliga community, to which both Shivakumar and Kumaraswamy belong.

Shivakumar, also the state Congress President, asserted that JD(S) would lose in all the four seats that it ''claims'' it is contesting, including Bangalore Rural from where its patriarch H D Deve Gowda's son-in-law and eminent cardiologist Dr C N Manjunath is being fielded on a BJP ticket. ''I have no issues with them going to the math and meeting Swamiji. They have done it today, I saw it on TV... Vokkaligas and the seers of the community are not foolish. They (seer) may greet the people who come to meet them, garland them and send them back. They (seers) don't do anything on our behalf or on their behalf, I know that. ...the people of the community are watching,'' Shivakumar said.

Speaking to reporters here, he pointed out that Congress candidates had recently met the Swamiji at his suggestion, following which the JD(S) leader has now taken BJP candidates along with him.

Stating that the Swamiji should have questioned the BJP about bringing down the ''Vokkaliga community CM'' (Kumaraswamy in July 2019), Shivakumar said, ''I'm not aware whether Swamiji has that much strength to question. Those (BJP leaders) who had gone today (to the math) were the ones who brought down the Vokkaliga CM, no one can hide the truth.'' ''What Deve Gowda had said about (BJP leader B S) Yediyurappa then and what Yediyurappa had said against Kumaraswamy and Deve Gowda, no one can hide them. What kind of words were used, I have never spoken such words. There were even allegations of phone tapping, including Swamiji's phone...I don't want to speak about it. Swamiji may get upset,'' he said.

The Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government had collapsed in July 2019 after the resignation of 17 MLAs from the two parties. Kumaraswamy and Congress leaders had then accused BJP's 'Operation Lotus' for the government's collapse.

Noting that Congress has given tickets to eight Vokkaligas in this Lok Sabha polls, including two from the Reddy community, Shivakumar pointed out that he too is from the community and is serving as the state Congress president and the deputy chief minister.

''We are ready for everything, to serve the people, the society and the state. Leaving us, who are in power, our people are not foolish to think about what will happen after four years (next assembly polls),'' he said.

Stating that the JD(S) would fail to open its account in the Lok Sabha elections, Shivakumar said: ''This is my firm opinion...take it from me, JD(S) will not win all four seats. Deve Gowda is speaking about winning four seats, including the seat that the BJP is representing (Bangalore Rural). If he was so confident, they should have made him (Dr C N Manjunath) contest on the JD(S) symbol.'' The JD(S) is contesting in Hassan, Mandya and Kolar, while as per the arrangement with its alliance partner BJP, Manjunath is contesting on the saffron party's ticket.

Asked about the JD(S) seeking votes for Kumaraswamy in Mandya stating that he may become a union minister, Shivakumar said, ''Let him become central minister or go to even higher post...let good things happen to him. My wishes are there.''

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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