No big deal, Deve Gowda says of Kumaraswamy-Sonia meeting (Lead)

May 13th, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi/Bangalore, May 13 (IANS) Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) president H.D. Deve Gowda Wednesday cautioned against reading too much into the meeting between his son H.D. Kumaraswamy and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, adding for good measure that he was not keen on becoming “the king or the kingmaker”.
“He met her as former chief minister of Karnataka,” Deve Gowda said about Tuesday’s meeting.

The former prime minister asserted that the JD-S was firmly with the Third Front which, he said, would play a major role in forming the next government in New Delhi.

Without the Third Front, no government could be formed, Deve Gowda maintained.

“I wish to repeat here that neither am I interested in becoming the king or the kingmaker. I want my party to have enough parliamentary strength to safeguard Karnataka’s interests and exert pressure on the centre to implement across the country the pro-poor, pro-farmer plans and policies outlined in our party manifesto,” Deve Gowda said in a statement.

“Even as speculations are rife over post-poll alliances, permutations and combinations, it is my firm belief that the Third alternative will play a very crucial role in government formation at the centre. We remain united, we will only emerge stronger in the days to come and our effort would be to install a secular pro-people alternative government in Delhi,” the statement added.

In a meeting that caused considerable consternation in the Third Front, Kumaraswamy visited Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence in New Delhi Tuesday evening. Apparently surprised by the presence of the media, the former chief minister tried to cover his face with a handkerchief to avoid being photographed.

He later told reporters that he only discussed Karnataka affairs and not national politics with Gandhi and maintained that the JD-S would remain with the Third Front.

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