From Veerendra Patil's time, I was a target: H D Deve Gowda

Deccan Chronicle

At 86 when most of his contemporaries would prefer resting at home, former prime minister Mr H.D. Deve Gowda is busy at JP Bhavan, the JD(S) headquarters in Bengaluru, holding a series of meetings with party workers from all over the state. His children — a former minister and a former chief minister are nowhere to be seen. In what sounded like an official ending to the JD(S)-Congress tie up in the State, Mr Gowda says that he would be fighting both the Congress and BJP. He did not mince words while remarking that former chief minister Mr Siddaramaiah was behind the collapse of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state and said that Mr Siddaramaiah wanted to destroy the JD(S).

Showing no strong grudge against central leaders of the BJP and Congress, Mr Gowda instead focused on the unholy nexus between state leaders. In an interview with Deccan Chronicle, he asserted that the present BJP government headed by B.S. Yediyurappa may not complete its term and mid-term polls may be announced by clubbing it with elections in other states. Here are excerpts.

In an interview with Deccan Chronicle, JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda came out with all guns blazing against former CM Siddaramaiah asserting that there was no doubt about the former CM's hand behind the fall of the HDK government. He recalled that the final blow to the coalition came from three loyalists of Siddaramaiah — Mr M.T.B. Nagaraj, Mr S.T. Somashekhar and Mr Byrathi Basavaraj.

How do you view the fall of the JD(S)-Congress government?

There is no doubt about former CM Siddaramaiah's hand behind the fall of the government. Just see the events before the government fell. Siddaramaiah asked us to make Chikkaballapur MLA K. Sudhakar Pollution Control Board chairman in place of former IFS officer C Jayaram. Two days later, Sudhakar was in Mumbai with the rebels.

Two, the independents had backed the Congress so Siddaramaiah asked the JD(S) to make one of them minister for the stability of the government and we obliged. During the last few days before the government fell, Siddaramaiah sought a series of changes, even in the nomination to Kempegowda International Airport Authority and we again obliged.

The final blow to the coalition government came from three loyalists of Siddaramaiah — Mr M.T.B. Nagaraj, Mr S.T. Somashekhar and Mr Byrathi Basavaraj. When the party tried taking action against them, they clearly said that they were sent by Mr Siddaramaiah. Do you need bigger proof than this?

Was Mr Siddaramaiah hell bent on bringing down the government?

Basically, Mr Siddaramaiah wants to finish off the JD(S). This was the party that made him a leader and still, when he was CM, he wanted to finish off the JD(S). He took away eight of our legislators and made them cross vote during elections to the Rajya Sabha. Later, he made them contest on a Congress ticket. People of the state know what happened to them.

The then Speaker did not take any action against them. Even the Congress central leadership knows everything, but they have their own problems. So, the government had to fall after the Parliament elections.

Soon after the coalition government fell, you started rebuilding the party alone. How difficult is it with the party cadre's morale so low?

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