BENGALURU: Days after he praised JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda as one of the most respected and tallest leaders of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have made the first attack on the JDS. During an election rally in poll-bound Karnataka on Thursday, the PM asked people not to waste its votes on the JDS. "I urge you not to waste your vote on the JDS. You can ask any political pundit and everyone will tell you that the JDS will finish at the third spot. A sensible voter would never vote for them," Modi said.
The attack on the JDS comes just two days after Modi had castigated Congress president Rahul Gandhi for "insulting" the former prime minister by calling JDS the "B team" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Modi's open support for the JDS supremo had raised many eyebrows including that of Deve Gowda himself. He had asserted that Modi had praised him did only to gain sympathy and not because both parties were cosying up to each other. "Maybe, by praising me, he (the PM) wants to gain sympathy. That is all. That does not mean there is an understanding (between BJP and JDS)," he had said.
He added that the JDS is confident of forming the government on its own with the cooperation of TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu, Chandrasekhar Rao (TRS) and other friends in the political arena. "I do not expect a hung Assembly. I have been saying this and I will say this again, we are confident of forming a government on our own," he had said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had also questioned the sudden 'love and respect' that the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was showing towards the former PM. Wondering if there is some secret understanding between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (Secular), the Karnataka CM had tweeted: "PM has suddenly discovered love & respect for Shri HD Deve Gowda. Shri Modi had not long ago said he will send Shri Deve Gowda to a retirement home. Is this new love a sign of the not so secret understanding between BJP & JDS? (sic)"
Supporting Deve Gowda and hitting out at Rahul for "insulting" the former PM, Modi had earlier said: "I heard the Congress president speak at political rallies 15-20 days ago....The way he referred to respected Deve Gowda ji....Is this your culture (sanskar)? This is arrogance. Your life (as Congress chief) has just begun. Deve Gowda is among the tallest leaders of the country. You are insulting him," Modi had said.
There have been several accusations from the Congress of a tacit understanding between the BJP and JDS for Karnataka polls.