DK Shivakumar, the Congress strongman, had become the headline maker during the Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat last year. The MLA from Kanakapura constituency has once again hogged the limelight by helping Congress stitch an alliance with H D Kumaraswamy-led Janata Dal (Secular) and prevent the BJP from forming the government. The Congress-JD(S) alliance was formed to stop BJP from coming to power as hinted by the man himself. Shivakumar said he was a “strong opponent” of the JD(S). Shivakumar, however, said he had to swallow some “bitterness” as all opposition parties were “uniting” against the BJP, according to The Indian Express .
Opposition to JD(S)
Prior to the elections, it was Shivakumar who vehemently spoke against the JD(S). Shivakumar told IE that the party has to swallow some bitterness as the alliance decision was taken by Congress President Rahul Gandhi. He also asserted that “individually”, the decision “does not hold. It is the collective country’s interest that is important”. Emphasizing that “Politics is an art of possibility”, Shivakumar said they should forget their “individual issues”.
The ‘Big Alliance’
Shivakumar also asserted that this alliance would have a bearing in the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls. He said the entire opposition and secular forces are “united”. Shivakumar said that National Conference, Chandrababu Naidu, TRS, Lalu Prasad, Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee have thrown their weight behind the Congress-JD(S) alliance as these parties want to be part of this “big alliance”. Terming former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda a “smart player”, Congress leader said H D Kumaraswamy is in touch with all the major opposition leaders across the country.
‘Bad performance’ by Congress
Shivakumar has also spoken vividly about Congress’ performance in Karanatka Election 2018. He admitted that party leaders have failed as Congress’ seats dropped from 122 constituencies in 2013 to 78 this time. Shivakumar said that “destiny” and a few “decisions” went wrong. However, he chose not to divulge too much on the “issues” which went wrong. “I admit that we have failed. We will sit together and discuss among ourselves and see that the problem will not happen in the future,” he said.
Shivakumar also revealed he informed Congress’ central leadership in Delhi that the party would perform badly in South Karnataka, where the JD(S) is the main contender. “Whether Congress expected (it) or not, I was expecting (it). I informed my party bosses in Delhi that this will happen. Once I was not declared as the PCC president, I knew this would happen,” he said.
Role of Rahul Gandhi
Shivakumar, who has been considered as the chief architect behind this alliance, credited Rahul Gandhi for the coalition. He said it was Gandhi who had triggered the post-poll alliance with JD(S). “We could not get a clear mandate for the Congress. Rahul Gandhi just triggered this entire operation. He gave a direction, plan A, plan B and plan C. If we win Karnataka with our own majority, what do we do; if we don’t win, what do we do; if the numbers are short, what we should do,” he said.
Shivakumar said Gandhi had said, “If the numbers are right, go ahead, if the numbers are wrong, stay back, don’t bid or bargain for power.” “We want a secular government to keep the BJP out. A day before counting, he (Rahul) instructed Venugopal. Then he sent senior leaders who could act very fast (Ashok Gehlot and Ghulam Nabi Azad). They called and discussed with us,” Shivakumar was quoted as saying by IE.