HD Deve Gowda says he is yet to decide on contesting LS polls

Source: PTI | Published on 19th March 2019, 10:23 PM | State News | Don't Miss |

Bengaluru: Maintaining suspense about contesting the Lok Sabha polls, JD(S) patriarch and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda Tuesday said he is yet to decide and been thinkingabout his 'usefulness' in the national capital.

The 85-year-old leader citing his age said he lacked the strength that he had in 1996, when he became the Prime Minister, but there is "enthusiasm".

He also made it clear that the opponent of opposition parties now was the BJP and not the Congress and said he would stand along with Congress president Rahul Gandhi even if he was able to do even a bit for the country under his (Gandhi) leadership.

"From where should I be contesting or not to, I think I have that much of basic freedom to decide.let's decide on it with in a few days, there is no problem. But, I'm thinking to myself about my usefulness in Delhi, I'm watching itI will decide," Gowda said.

Pointing out that in his speech at the last session of Parliament he had indicated it was his last speech, hesaid, but a few friends had asked him to contest this time.

"I'm yet to decide."

If he decided to contest, he along with coalitionleaders, including his son and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah of Congress will decide on the constituency,he added.

Speculationsare rife that Deve Gowda, who has conceded his constituency Hassan to grandson Prajwal Revanna, will contest fromeither Bangalore North or Tumkur constituency.

His another grandson and Kumaraswamy'sson Nikhil Kumaraswamy is contesting from Mandya Lok Sabhaseat, another party bastion.

Three years ago itself he had said he will vacate the Hassan seat for Prajwal in view of his age, Gowda said adding there was was nothingto hide.

"Even while speaking in the Parliament. I spoke fully understanding my strengths," he said, adding hedid not have the strength that he had in 1996, when he becamethe Prime Minister, but there is 'enthusiasm'.

"Our opponents today are not Congress, it is BJP. So if I'm able to do even a bit for this country under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, I can stand along with him Still I have not made up my mind.

"I'm still thinking, From otherstates also leaders are saying- you are an elderly person, having the experience of governing the country- it is adifferent matter, we will sit and decide...," he added.

Sections within the Congress have requested JD(S) to give Tumkur seat back to the party, amidsimmering discontent within the local leadership about cedingit to the alliance partner.

However, they would not oppose if Gowda himself contests from the seat, party sources said.

Though there is pressure within the JD(S) for Gowda to contest from Bangalore North, the party fearsabout Congress' complete support there.

The Congress will contest 20 seats and JD(S) eight in the Lok Sabha polls in the state under a deal between the coalition partners finalised last week. 

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