In a single tweet on Tuesday, 9 August, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda sent multiple strong messages in the backdrop of the political upheaval in Bihar.
The Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch, while reminiscing about the erstwhile Janata Parivar, called for an “alternate” leadership in the country.
Even as the JD(S) stance on the BJP has been a “blow hot, blow cold” one, the 89-year-old Deve Gowda on Tuesday categorically called for younger leaders to come forward.
The statement came at a time many prominent regional leaders like Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin have called for a united, national front of “like-minded parties”.
I have been watching the developments in Bihar. It made me think of the days when the Janata Dal parivar was under one roof. It is gave three PMs. I am in my advanced years, but if the younger generation decides it can offer a good alternative to this great nation.
— H D Devegowda (@H_D_Devegowda) August 9, 2022
KCR met Deve Gowda at the latter’s residence as recently as May this year, once again sparking off speculations of a “third front”.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, too, aimed to unite non-BJP and non-Congress regional parties on a common platform ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections.
Deve Gowda went one step ahead to recall the lost glory of the Janata Parivar that gave three prime ministers — Morarji Desai, himself, and IK Gujaral — to subtly urge breakaway parties of the erstwhile grouping and other regional parties to take note.
The JD(S) in Karnataka has often found itself collaborating with the BJP, even as it maintains a critical view of the saffron party in public.
The most recent example was that of the JD(S) extending its support to NDA Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu despite being an Opposition party.
Deve Gowda has often acknowledged the good rapport he shares with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but has not shied away from criticising the central government over critical bills like farm laws.
Deve Gowda’s call for an “alternate” leadership in the country also came ahead of the Karnataka Assembly elections slated for next year.
With preliminary surveys of all parties suggesting a hung verdict in the election, the JD(S) — often looked at as the kingmaker when there is no clear winner — is electorally significant for both the Congress and the BJP in the state.