Won’t be surprised if JD(S) merges with BJP: CM Siddaramaiah takes dig at former Cong ally

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BENGALURU : Hitting out at former ally Janata Dal (Secular) over its alliance with the BJP ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said he wouldn’t be surprised if the former were to merge with the saffron party.

He also commended former JD(S) leaders Gauri Shankar and Dasarahalli Manjunath for switching over to the Congress.

He was speaking at an induction programme of dissent leaders from other parties at the KPCC office in the state capital, Bengaluru.

“Janata Dal (Secular) used to be secular when we were with the party. However, now, the ‘S’ has been removed and only Janata Dal remains. When they joined hands with the BJP previously, all secularists in the ranks separated themselves from the Janata Parivar. Now, they have joined hands with the BJP again. They were annoyed when I called the JD(S) the ‘B’ team of the BJP. However, they proved me right by tying up with the BJP. It won’t surprise me if they merge with the BJP in the coming days,” the Karnataka CM said.

He claimed that the JD(S) is no longer a party that commands mass appeal like it used to.

“Now, it’s just limited to being a family-run party. Gourishankar and Manjunath understood the double game of the JD(S) and, hence, joined the Congress. Many more will follow,” Siddaramaiah said.

The CM added that Gourishankar and Manjunath upheld their secular and constitutional values and credentials by joining the Congress and have also guaranteed themselves a ‘secure’ political future.

Also taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Karnataka CM said the former, who criticized the Congress government when they implemented their guarantee programmes, was now seeking votes on ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’.

“It is shameful that Prime Minister Modi is now promoting government programmes funded by the people of Karnataka as his own,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister and the Congress’s state president DK Shivakumar, and party secretary Salim Ahmed were among the other leaders present at the event. (ANI)

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