New Delhi: Former Prime Minister H. D. Devegowda's comments are particularly significant given the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. His testimony sheds light on the treatment of Dr. Manmohan Singh by the Congress during the 2G Scam allegations. As one of the two living former Prime Ministers, alongside Manmohan Singh, Devegowda's remarks carry substantial weight. While Singh remains silent, Devegowda's testimony becomes crucial in revealing the dynamics within the Congress.
Deve Gowda explained the rationale behind his alignment with the BJP, citing the mistreatment of his son by the Congress. He pointed to the Congress's decision to appoint his son as the Chief Minister of Karnataka against his wishes and subsequently removing him abruptly after just 13 months. Deve Gowda emphasized that he made the decision to leave the Congress on the same day. He also expressed admiration for the warm reception he received from Prime Minister Modi, highlighting the warm and affectionate treatment he experienced during their meeting in Modi's chamber. Deve Gowda credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's love and affection as the only personal benefit he gained from the association with the BJP.
The focal point of Deve Gowda's address centered around the treatment meted out by the Congress to its presidents and prime ministers who were not from or associated with the Gandhi family. In echoing Prime Minister Modi's criticism of the Congress culture and nepotism during two parliamentary speeches on the motion of thanks, Deve Gowda expanded on the narrative. PM Modi had previously referenced the incident involving former President Sitaram Kesari and Deve Gowda sought to underscore that the current Congress president, Mallikarjun Kharge, would face similar treatment that even he would not think of becoming the Prime Ministererial candidate because the top leadership within the Congress would not allow it to happen.
Deve Gowda attended the farewell ceremony for retiring members of the Rajya Sabha, where he contested Kharge's statement implying a late-life political shift. The former Prime Minister clarified that his support for the BJP was aimed at preventing certain Congress leaders from causing harm to JD(S). While acknowledging Kharge's honesty and past support, Deve Gowda held some Congress leaders responsible for the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) government in 2019, led by HD Kumaraswamy. He asserted that, despite recommending Kharge for the role, the Congress high command insisted on his son Kumaraswamy becoming the Chief Minister, leading to his removal within thirteen months.
Highlighting his decision to support the BJP, Deve Gowda clarified that it was driven by a desire to save his party, contrasting it with some Congress members who seemed intent on destroying their own party. He reassured Kharge that his choice was not for personal gain but motivated by a commitment to safeguard his party's interests.
He recounted advising his son Kumaraswamy to align with the BJP, foreseeing the challenges within the Congress. Deve Gowda claimed that even former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed distress over the actions of top Congress leaders during discussions on the 2G spectrum in the Lok Sabha, emphasizing Singh's contributions to the country's governance.During his speech, Kharge seemed moved and uncomortable. There used to sit Ghulam Nabi Azad before, who left the Congress after a similar experience as described by HD Deve Gowda and constant pitching and empathetic satements by PM Modi for him which ultimately led to the exit of Mr. Azad. It seems that a similar tactics is being played to move the conscience of Mallikarjun Kharge. PM Modi sees next Azad in Mr. Kharge, is what can be implied.