Party workers pushed Anitha into poll fray: Deve Gowda

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JDS National President HD Devegowda at the inauguration of Sree Sai Gold Palace on DVG Road in Bangalore on Thursday. ?KPN

August 9, 2013, DHNS: Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Friday denied that the JD(S) had any role in the BJP candidates withdrawing from the byelections to the Bangalore (Rural) and Mandya Lok Sabha seats but stopped short of stating that his party had no tie-up with the BJP.

“In most parts of the country, there are several factors at work while fielding a candidate. We did not field candidates in other parts of the country due to financial constraints and many other reasons in the previous elections. That does not mean we went along with any other political party or had a tie-up. These are all baseless inferences which are being drawn,” he said in an interaction with Deccan Herald.

Asked about ‘suggestions’ being made by the Congress that the JD (Secular) to remove the word ‘Secular’ its name for having joined hands with the BJP for the Lok Sabha bypolls, a sarcastic Gowda laughed and said: “In Jharkhand, the Congress aligns with the JMM despite it having already aligned with the BJP in the past. This is the same party which talks about our secularism. I do not want to shame the Congress any further by speaking about its antecedents.”

Initial reluctance

Gowda, who was touring Channapatna and Mandya, said the JD(S) was initially opposed to fielding candidates from Bangalore Rural and Mandya constituencies. “But then, we were advised that the morale of the party workers will plummet in these constituencies if we do not field our nominees.”

He admitted that his daughter-in-law and former MLA Anitha Kumarswamy was fielded the from Bangalore Rural seat more out of compulsion than will.

“There was a lot of opposition, including in Channapatna, with several leaders saying that she had lost the recent Assembly elections and hence would not be suitable. She herself was not willing to contest, at any cost. But, after having visited all the eight Assembly constituencies under the Lok Sabha segment, party workers suggested that one of the family members must contest,” said Gowda.

On the ‘personal attacks’ made by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah against the Deve Gowda family, the former prime minister said: “We cannot grow as tall as him. He has the constitutional right to speak, let him. If it helps his career, let him speak as much as he wants.”

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