Yediyurappa, Kumaraswamy will decide on pact for Council polls: Deve Gowda

‘There has been no decision on the continuity of support for the next elections’

The former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa publicly seeking the Janata Dal (Secular) support for its candidates in the Legislative Council elections, which had raised interest in political circles, now seems to be heading to a logical conclusion. Breaking his silence, JD(S) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda on Tuesday confirmed in Delhi that the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Mr. Yediyurappa were in talks and would decide on the issue soon.

This came on a day when Mr. Gowda met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was officially to urge the latter to set up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Hassan.

“Mr. Kumaraswamy and Mr. Yediyurappa will decide on the Legislative Council polls. I have told them the decision should not cause any confusion,” the former Prime Minister told reporters in Delhi. “Let us wait for the decision of the BJP… But there has been no decision on the continuity of the pact for the next elections,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kumaraswamy told The Hindu that the decision to extend support to the BJP had not been taken yet. “I am seeking information from local leaders in all the districts. I am not sure of what stand the BJP takes here. I will make a decision by December 4 or December 5,” he said.

Mr. Gowda’s statement assumes importance in the light of the Congress attacking the JD(S) as the “B team” of the BJP. Mr. Kumaraswamy also had said that the party would take a decision on extending support to BJP candidates where the JD(S) was not contesting.

Meanwhile, the octogenarian leader said that though Congress leader M. Mallikarjun Kharge was inclined to have a truck with the JD(S), other leaders were not interested. “I am not sure how much weight the opinion of Mr. Kharge carries. I am also not sure about the decision of the Congress high command. We will not approach them,” he said.

On the issue of IIT in Hassan, Mr. Gowda said, “The HRD Minister has refused to heed to my earlier request. I had sought time from Mr. Modi and personally met him to urge him to announce an IIT for Hassan.” Dharmendra Pradhan, the earlier Minister, had written to him that an IIT was not possible in Hassan, he added.

“IIT in Hassan was conceived during the Janata Dal (Secular)–Congress coalition Government in Karnataka. I discussed the matter with Mr. Modi, who promised to discuss the issue with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi,” Mr. Gowda said.

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