In a veiled attack at former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) chief HD Deve Gowda, senior BJP leader and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Friday asked how someone who is contesting only on seven seats, can harbour the dreams of becoming the prime minister or his advisor. Yeddyurappa was replying to Deve Gowda's statement supporting Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s aspirations of becoming the prime minister after 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Yeddyurappa said, "He (Deve Gowda) is fighting on 7 seats and has ambitions of being Prime Minister or advisor to Prime Minister?".
Former Karnataka CM & BJP leader, BS Yeddyurappa, on former PM HD Deve Gowda's statement 'If Rahul Gandhi becomes PM, I will sit by his side': He is fighting on 7 seats and has ambitions of being Prime Minister or advisor to Prime Minister? pic.twitter.com/UnbPpnjUdX— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
Gowda had, earlier in the day, said he has no plans to retire, but doesn't need to be prime minister either, adding that if Rahul Gandhi becomes the PM, he will sit by his side.
"Madam Sonia Gandhi has taken the decision to support Deve Gowda even though we are a small party. Now it is my responsibility to move forward with Congress, though I do agree in some states there is no question of any coalition. But in Tamil Nadu, there is a coalition between Congress and DMK and with Sharad Pawar's party in Maharashtra," the former prime minister added.
The JDS formed an alliance with the Congress in a bid form a government in Karnataka after a hung verdict in the state Assembly polls in 2018.
In a reference to BJP veteran LK Advani, who has been side-lined by the BJP top leadership, ever since it came to power in 2019, the Deve Gowda further said, "I have no plans to "retire like Advani" and wanted to " save my party first and the office building last."
On his decision to contest Lok Sabha polls, even after announcing he would not, the JD-S chief said, "There are circumstances now in which I have been forced to contest. There is nothing to hide. I have no ambition of anything but what I always said is that I am not going to retire from active politics".
Deve Gowda is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Karnataka's Tumkur parliamentary constituency where he will take on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate GS Basvaraj.
General Elections to 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across India is scheduled to be held between April 11 and May 19. The counting of votes for all the phase will be taken up on May 23.