As the efforts were on to forge opposition unity against the ruling BJP-led NDA ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Janata Dal (Secular) national general secretary and party spokesperson Danish Ali on Saturday said that there cannot be an anti-BJP front in future without the Congress.
In an interaction with mediapersons, organised by Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC) here, he said,''the outcome of Karnataka assembly polls will change the future of Indian Politics.''
As one of the architects of the formation of JD(S) – Congress government in Karnataka, Ali revealed that there is a written agreement between the two parties that JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy will be the Chief Minister for five years.
“Myself and AICC Karnataka in-charge KC Venugopal signed a written agreement that Kumaraswamy will be the Chief Minister for next five years. We have made a similar kind of agreement with the BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra also when we formed the alliance”, said Ali. He also felt that there will not be any big platform for the opposition to form a grand alliance before the Lok Sabha elections.
“Every party has the right to contest wherever they want to. In some places, like Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, opposition parties may contest each other. We are only aiming to form post poll coalitions,” he said. Maintaining that post poll alliances would be better, Mr Ali added that ''opposition parties are not fools to give a collective platform which the BJP can easily target.'' He said both the major parties, the Congress and the BJP tried to finish off the JD(S) in Karnataka in last assembly polls, but the party proved its strength.
“It was true that both the parties tried their best to finish us. But as of today I can say without any hesitation that there will not be any anti-BJP front possible without the Congress in future,” he said.
Referring to the Congress claiming during the campaigning for the Karnataka assembly polls that the JD(S) is the B team of BJP, he said,''it affected the fortunes of the JD(S) at some places in Karnataka.'' “Even in Mumbai, Karnataka and Coastal Karnataka, the BJP chariot went ahead. Only the Old Mysore area has stopped them. But the BJP has entered in the Old Mysore area too, in Hassan. How is it possible? It was because of the campaign that we are the B team of the BJP. It did not help them (Congress) or the JD(S) but helped the BJP”, he added.
Ali said that the Karnataka Government will complete its term as both parties are serious about it. “We have a co-ordination committee in place, Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is the Chairman and I am the Convener. There are other members too and Venugopal is also part of it. Has the Congress entered into any co-ordination committee before at the state level? Even the AICC in-charge is being part of it shows that we are serious about it”, he added.
Ali denied that the government formation and allocation of portfolios took time because Congress president Rahul Gandhi was unavailable. “Even when he was abroad for his mother’s treatment Gandhi was in contact with us and was talking regularly. When the BJP has entered an alliance with the PDP in Jammu Kashmir it took many weeks to form the government. Even in case of a single party rule in UP, it took two weeks to form the government. But we formed the government within a week”, said Ali.
The JD(S) leader said that the allegation that the opposition parties are uniting because of the ‘survival’ issue, is not true and said the country’s Democracy is facing survival. “BJP has only 31 percent people’s mandate. We have 69 percent people with us. It is strange for a party, which has only 31 percent vote share, saying that they need a opposition-mukt country,” he said.
Regarding the Electronic Voting Machines, Ali said that JD(S) has always maintained that it preferred the ballot paper. “Also, we will not accept the simultaneous polls both in Lok Sabha and in Assembly. India has a federal system and Parliamentary democracy. It is not like the US type Presidential Election. Every state has its own nature and issues. So the JD(S) will not accept that proposal,''he said.
Responding to a question on former President Pranab Mukheree’s visit to RSS headquarters, Ali said,'' he should have avoided it.'' '' Mukherjee is a seasoned leader and free to take decisions. But he should have avoided it. This was an attempt by the RSS to legitimise itself on the national and global front. The former President’s words for Hedgewar legitimised it”, said Ali. (UNI)