While the Bharatiya Janata Party banks heavily on the Narendra Modi wave in Karnataka, former Chief Minister and Janata Dal (S) leader, H D Kumaraswamy says that this wave is artificial. Kumaraswamy is confident that the JD(S) would be part of the government to be formed at the Centre.
In this interview with rediff.com Kumaraswamy, the son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda says that both the Congress and BJP say Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi will be Prime Minister respectively, but what I want to ask all of them is are we not there?
Is the JD(S) ready to support the candidature of J Jayalalithaa as Prime Minister?
My father Deve Gowda had said that she is welcome to be the Prime Minister. He had said that he wholeheartedly supports the candidature of Jayalalithaa for the Prime Minister’s post provided such a favorable political mobilization takes place. Whether or not she would become Prime Minister would entirely depend on the numbers she has at the end of the elections. Deve Gowda had also said let Nitish Kumar or Mulayam Singh also become the Prime Minister.
The JD(S) is very vocal about the Cauvery waters dispute and now you support Jayalalithaa. What message does that send?
The Cauvery waters issue will not be a problem here. My father was the Prime Minister and we had the support of many from Tamil Nadu. Did it become an issue? No those issues are different.
Who according to you will be the Prime Minister of India?
The BJP says Narendra Modi while the Congress feels it will be Rahul Gandhi. I personally feel both will not be Prime Ministers. Before anyone could jump to any conclusion, I want to ask all of them, “are we not there?”
What do you think of the Narendra Modi wave? Is there one?
There is no Modi wave and this is an artificial wave that has been created by the BJP by using the money that they collect from the corporates. Narendra Modi’s attacks on the regional fronts is more out of fear as he feels that we may hurt his ambitions to become Prime Minister. The people know that we have a good track record and have proved it during the governments run by Deve Gowda and I K Gujral as Prime Minister. We do not need any certificate from Modi.
Once friend turned foe B S Yeddyurappa is back in the BJP. What difference does it make to the BJP?
It will make no difference to the BJP. In fact it may hurt the party and it will result in an advantage for the JD(S). We are confident of that.
What about your own candidature? Where are you contesting from? Will you fight Veerappa Moily at Chikkaballapur?
Personally I do not want to contest the elections as I want to be part of state politics and address the issues here. I will weigh everything before I contest the elections. Before that I will also need to interact with the people of Bangalore Rural who elected me in 2009 before I take any decision to contest from Chikkaballapur. There have been media reports that we may not retain Bangalore Rural after we lost last time in the by-elections. However this time I am very confident that we will retain Bangalore Rural. In Chikkaballapur we have everything in our favour. The people want a member of the Deve Gowda family to contest. The first choice was Anita Kumaraswamy, but due to health reasons she will not be able to contest. But I am sure that the JD(S) will win here.
What about Mysore constituency? Will Jaffer Sharrief who was denied a ticket by the Congress contest from here on your party ticket?
Whether Jaffer Sharrief will contest from Bangalore central or Mysore is a decision he will take. He said after his visit to Mecca depending on what direction he gets from God he will decide on this. But I would also like to add that our chances are looking good in Mysore and we are confident we will win here.
What according to you will the JD(S) win realistically in Karnataka out of the 28 Parliamentary seats?
We are confident that we will win 12 to 13 seats. We have identified 16 to 17 constituencies where we are strong and out of this our analysis shows that we are in with a good chance of winning 12 to 13.
There are a lot of people who have left the Janata Parivar and joined either the Congress or the BJP. How does that affect you?
There is going to be a major change after this election. Many members who left the Janata Parivar will return as there is an environment that suggests that. Many of them who joined either the Congress or the BJP will come back.
Does that include Subramanyan Swamy too?
I am talking only about Karnataka.
What about Siddaramaiah?
He says that this is his last election. We are not implicating anything, but only quoting him. He had made it clear that the previous election that he fought was his last and he will take political sansyas after that. I feel if he does not contest any more elections, then he should be part of politics and be an advisor to a political party and share his experience.