Let Congress prove its own secular credentials: Deve Gowda

“Those who are honest will come, those who aren’t will go. This meeting will be the litmus test in its true sense,” he said.
HD Devegowda
HD Devegowda

Bengaluru, Dec 27 : Launching a no holds barred attack on the state Congress leaders, former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda on Saturday dared them to come clean on its ‘secular credentials’ rather than asking him to prove his secularism every time.

Addressing a press conference here, Gowda said that he can speak a lot about the Congress with more authenticity than most of the present lot of leaders in the party.

“I started my political career as a Congressman and went on to build my own party after quitting it. Let the Congress stop giving sermons about my secular credentials. Instead, they should see their own chequered past on its stand on secularism,” he said.

Asserting that he never went to anyone’s door asking to make his son Kumaraswamy the Chief Minister after the 2018 Assembly polls, Deve Gowda asked who knocked the doors of the Supreme Court at midnight?

The JD(S) chief further asked that who has formed an alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra? “Has the Congress not entered into an alliance there? Have they not aligned with the Trinamool Congress? I can list several such instances showing how the Congress has been misleading the people about its secular credentials,” he said.

Deve Gowda also said that it was he who invited all the secular leaders of the country for the swearing-in of the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka.

He further said that the Congress conveniently uses ‘secularism’ and ‘soft Hindutva’ to meet its own end. “Did any Congress leader go to Godhra immediately after the riots? Can this party save the Muslims? They say in Parliament proceedings that theirs is soft Hindutva. Now I don’t understand what is soft and hard Hindutva,” he said.

“The Congress projects Rahul Gandhi as its Prime Ministerial candidate, someone who had said during the Assembly poll campaign in 2018 that Deve Gowda’s party is a B-team of the BJP. Who made him say that? Was their intention to save the JD(S) or to finish it? And what was the outcome,” Deve Gowda asked as he repeatedly dared the Congress to prove its secular credentials.

He added that the party has convened a mega meeting of the JD(S) on January 7, 2021 at the Palace Grounds in Bengaluru.

“Those who are honest will come, those who aren’t will go. This meeting will be the litmus test in its true sense,” he said.

The JD(S) shief also said that the party will have a core committee in place with 8-9 leaders and discuss revamping the party after January 15, aimed at strengthening it.

“We will save and build this party, a regional party is necessary for the country,” he said.

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