Refuting the Congress party’s accusation that the JD(S) had entered into a secret pact with BJP in the recent Mayoral polls in Mysuru, former Minister and JD(S) leader S.R. Mahesh has laid the blame at the doorstep of the Congress. He has claimed that the alliance collapsed because of the State Congress leadership’s failure to speak to its JD(S) counterpart.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Mahesh said BJP had occupied the post of Mayor in Mysuru solely on account of the ‘arrogance’ of the Congress leadership which refused to speak to JD(S) leaders H.D. Deve Gowda or H.D. Kumaraswamy, to continue the alliance.
Though Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D.K. Shivakumar tried to speak to him, Mr. Mahesh said he is not in a position to take a decision and he had told Congress leader Tanveer Sait even half-an-hour before the polls about the need for Congress leadership to speak to JD(S) leaders.
Mr. Mahesh also recalled former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s disparaging description of JD(S) a couple of months ago and said the party had sent a clear message to the Congress from the former Chief Minister’s home town about the consequences of failure to take the JD(S) leadership into confidence and keep secular forces united.
The JD(S) had publicly offered the post of Mayor to the Congress, but the latter’s leaders remained ‘arrogant’, leading to the collapse of the ‘secular’ alliance, Mr. Mahesh regretted.
The BJP had approached the JD(S) ahead of the Mayoral polls held in February as well as the polls held last Wednesday. It had been told that the JD(S) followed a policy of keeping equidistant from both Congress and BJP, he said.
Asked for the reason behind JD(S) fielding a candidate when it did not have enough numbers to win the polls, Mr. Mahesh said the same question should also be posed to the Congress. “I can also say that the Congress had a hidden understanding with BJP”, he said.
Earlier, Mysuru City JD(S) president K.T. Cheluve Gowda said the Congress and JD(S) had entered into an understanding after the 2018 alliance and had shared the post of Mayor for the first two years. When the Mayoral polls were announced for the third term earlier this year, the JD(S) did not wish to continue the understanding because of the Congress leaders’ disparaging statements about the party.
“Though we wished to contest independently even during the Mayoral polls held in February this year, the Congress extended its support to us”, he said.