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Modi’s praise for Deve Gowda rakes up the JD(S) b-team debate again

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    The Congress accused the JD(S) of being the BJP's b-team in the Karnataka assembly elections. Siddaramaiah said that he had proof of Amit Shah and H D Kumaraswamy meeting on a flight.

    Modi’s praise for Deve Gowda rakes up the JD(S) b-team debate again

    The reactions from the JD(S) were quick and Deve Gowda went on to say that he would disown his son if he entered into an alliance with the BJP. Kumaraswamy too denied these reports and said that if the JD(S) was really a b-team, he would not be campaigning so hard.

    In the midst of this debate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had some kind words for Deve Gowda during one of his rallies he addressed in Karnataka on Tuesday. He criticised Rahul Gandhi for taking on Deve Gowda and said that even though he is a novice, he criticises a veteran like Gowda.

    The generous praise on Gowda is being seen as analysts as an attempt by the BJP to keep the JD(S) happy in the eventuality of a hung verdict in Karnataka. Barring C fore, none of the other pollsters have predicted a clear mandate in Karnataka. Most of the pre-poll surveys suggest that the Congress would be the single largest party, but will be nowhere close to the majority mark. Only poll survey showed the BJP emerging as the single largest party.

    In the eventuality of a hung verdict, the JD(S) becomes an important player. With poll surveys predicting anything in the range of 35 to 39 for the JD(S), the party will play a crucial factor in ensuring that the single largest party touches the magic 113 mark in the 224 member house.

    While Modi's comments have once again triggered the b-team debate, the BJP on record says that there will be no tie up. The BJP cites the past in which there was a term sharing arrangement with the JD(S) which went horribly wrong.

    The JD(S) too treats this subject as a taboo and says that it is not entering into a tie-up either with the BJP or Congress. H D Kumaraswamy says that the mistake of the past will not be repeated. "Would I be working so hard in the heat of north Karnataka, if I was in an alliance with the BJP. North Karnataka is considered to be a strong region for the BJP?."

    Kumaraswamy also adds that he has made several promises to the voter and those cannot be fulfilled if his party enters into an alliance. "If we cannot form the government we will either sit in opposition or face a fresh election", he also says.

    Karnataka Assembly Election dates
    Date of notification April 17
    Last date to file nominations April 24
    Last date to withdraw nominations April 27
    Date of polling May 12
    Date of counting May 15

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