Early Lok Sabha election likely, says Deve Gowda

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NEW DELHI, JUNE 28,
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda on Thursday said the presence of non-BJP parties at the swearing-in of the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka did not mean that all would fight polls together in every State in the 2019 general election.
There were strong indications from the ruling BJP that the Lok Sabha election would be brought forward, he said.
Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, Mr Gowda said, “It is not necessary that the parties which attended the swearing-in ceremony of (Karnataka Chief Minister) H.D. Kumaraswamy will fight together in all States.”
He added, however, that he favoured formation of a third front to take on the BJP at the earliest, saying there were clear “signals” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling party to their cadres in States to be ready for Lok Sabha polls as early as in November-December.
Presenting a united front, top leaders of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the BSP, the AAP, the CPI(M) and the TDP had attended the ceremony last month in Bengaluru.
Mr. Gowda said the Samajwadi Party and BSP are discussing sharing 40 seats each in general elections in Uttar Pradesh.
With the Congress
“In Karnataka, we will fight with the Congress despite having small issues with them,” he said. He refused to comment about remarks made by former CM and Congress-JD(S) coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah that the current Karnataka government would survive for only a year. “It is his feeling,” he added.
The seat-sharing for 2019 Lok Sabha polls has not yet been decided though there are rumours that Congress will fight from 18 seats in Karnataka and the JD(S) will get the remaining 10.
Mr. Gowda also said his party was willing to give away one Parliamentary seat in Karnataka to its ally BSP. “In return, I will ask BSP to give one seat in Uttar Pradesh to Danish Ali (who is JD(S) Secretary General). In Kerala, LDF will give one seat to us,” he added.
The JD(S) leader said he wouldl be meeting non-NDA leaders in “coming days”.
“Going by the signal that Prime Minister Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are giving to States, there is a greater possibility of early polls,” he said, adding the monsoon session of Parliament could be the last session.

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