Siddaramaiah invites GTD to join Congress

Friends-turned-foes Siddaramaiah and G.T. Deve Gowda, who were engaged in a fierce electoral battle in Chamundeshwari Assembly segment in 2018, appeared to have buried their hatchets when the duo came on the same stage at two public functions in the constituency on Tuesday.

While Mr. Gowda, who had delivered a humiliating defeat to Mr. Siddaramaiah in the last elections, praised the former CM at a function in Kergalli in the constituency, the latter extended an invitation to Mr. Gowda to join the Congress. “He wants to join the Congress, but H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy are trying to retain him in the JD(S). But, joining the Congress or not is left to him (GTD). He is welcome to join the Congress if he accepts the party’s principles,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

It may be mentioned here that Mr. Gowda had earlier declared that he had spoken with Mr. Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar and sought to join the Congress fold.

Referring to his rout in the last elections at the hands of Mr. Gowda, Mr. Siddaramaiah said victory and loss were part of elections and added that he had both won as well as lost in Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency. Even though Mr. Gowda had defeated him in the last elections, the former Chief Minister claimed that they had only been political opponents and were never personal rivals. Mr. Gowda, who heaped praises on Mr. Siddaramaiah during his address, said the people of Chamudeshwari constituency had a lot of affection for the former CM whether he won or lost from the constituency.

Mr. Gowda even recalled his earlier days in politics when he and Mr. Siddaramaiah were in the same party – Janata Dal (S). “I and Siddaramaiah have grown together in politics since 1983. We have built the party from the grass root level,” he said, while hailing the former CM’s Anna Bhagya scheme and other welfare measures. He said Mr. Siddaramaiah had groomed a lot of Dalit leaders like former Minister H.C. Mahadevappa. Also, the former CM had a lot of affection for leaders from other communities like Veerashaivas and Vokkaligas, he said.

Earlier, Mr. Gowda and Mr. Siddaramaiah had shared the stage at another event in Hinkal in Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency.

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