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Advantage BJP? No alliance with Congress for Karnataka assembly poll, says Deve Gowda

Advantage BJP? No alliance with Congress for Karnataka assembly poll, says Deve Gowda
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The JD(S) would have no electoral understanding with the ruling Congress in the coming Karnataka assembly election as it had -'burnt its fingers-' in...

The JD(S) would have no electoral understanding with the ruling Congress in the coming Karnataka assembly election as it had "burnt its fingers" in the past aligning with the national party, former Prime Minister and party president H D Deve Gowda said today.

The Janata Dal (Secular) had "burnt its fingers" in the past aligning with the Congress, he told reporters here, adding that his party was also not interested in forming a government with the Congress's support if the results threw up such a probability. The Congress and the BJP were "only discussing communal issues" and were turning a blind eye to people's issues, including the problems being faced by farmers, he said.Gowda said the JD-S would contest in all the 224 assembly seats in the state, of which some seats would be spared for the Left parties.

The party had not yet decided whether to seek the support of the Social Democratic Party of India, which had backed it in the last elections. On the controversial statements made by Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde on the Constitution and Dalits, Gowda said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should control his ministers. He said the JD-S had submitted a complaint to the assembly Speaker to disqualify two of its MLAs, who had defected and joined the BJP recently.

Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde denied having made any anti-Dalit remark and criticised the Congress for "deliberately trying to sully" his image on the issue. "It has been misinterpreted. I haven't made any such remark against Dalits. The Congress is deliberately trying to damage my image by alluding the remark to Dalits," the Minister of State for Skill Development Entrepreneurship said over phone from New Delhi. Hegde had stirred a hornet's nest while addressing a function at Ballari when he reportedly said, "We are stubborn people. When dogs bark on the road, we don't care." Hegde clarified that the remark was made against the "so-called intellectuals" who were critical of his political stand on various issues.

Dalit protesters had blocked Hegde's car and raised slogans against his remarks last month on changing the Constitution and secularism. At a function in Karnataka in December last year, Hegde had reportedly said people should identify themselves by their religion and "those who, without knowing about their parental blood, call themselves secular, they don't have their own identity...they don't know about their parentage." He had also reportedly said "we are here to change the Constitution and we'll change it. The minister had to tender an apology in the Lok Sabha after a nudge by the Speaker, but he said his speech at a function in Karnataka was 'distorted'.

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