Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s decision not to align with the Congress in the upcoming assembly polls should not be seen as the falling apart of the Opposition unity, Janata Dal (Secular) chief H D Deve Gowda said on Thursday.
The former prime minister asserted that there was still time to form a grand alliance to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party in the general elections, due next year, and warned against jumping to any conclusion because of Mayawati’s decision.
On Wednesday, the BSP chief announced that her party would contest the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh assembly elections either on its own or in an alliance with regional parties, but not with the Congress. She had earlier formed an alliance with Ajit Jogi’s party to fight the elections in Chhattisgarh.
The Dalit leader’s decision to fight alone was seen as snub to the Congress, as well as a major setback on efforts to make a grand alliance against the BJP.
When asked if the Opposition’s unity is falling apart after Mayawati’s decision, Mr Gowda said, “I don’t think so.”
“All state leaders have priority and there is still time for general elections. You cannot jump to a conclusion taking into account one event,” the JD-S chief said, adding that time would tell when the parties would come together.
In May, the Opposition parties had seized the opportunity to put up a united show at the swearing-in of Gowda’s son, H D Kumaraswamy, as the Karnataka chief minister, to send forth the message that an anti-BJP front was coming into force.
On the centre’s decision to cut fuel price by Rs 2.50 per litre, Mr Gowda said, “Karnataka has already done it. the centre is copying Karnataka.”