Bengaluru, Jul 11: The newly appointed KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao on Wednesday said that the Congress had made a "sacrifice" by forming a government with the JD(S) to preserve secularism and democracy.
He said though Congress secured 80 assembly seats as against 37 of JDS, it decided to help the latter form the government, "not because we are weak, but because our objectives are different." "We made a sacrifice by forming a coalition government to send across a message as to how we strive to preserve social justice,secularism and democracy,"he said in his first address to party workers after donning the mantle as the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee head.
The May 12 assembly polls had thrown up a hung verdict with BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats in the 224-member assembly, but falling short of numbers.
Sewing up a post-poll alliance, Congress supported the JDS to form the government. Rao said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not come to power again as the BJP had no base in the South, except for Karnataka.
In the North too things were changing very rapidly against the BJP. "There is a 100 per cent chance of a Congress-led government coming to power at the Centre and Rahul Gandhi will lead it as the prime minister. In Karnataka we will strive to win all the 28 Lok Sabha seats to strengthen Rahul Gandhi," said Rao. Calling on party cadres to "uproot" BJP from the country, he said democracy seemed to be in peril.
"Today whoever speaks against the BJP is threatened by the Income Tax Department, Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation. We are forced to think whether democracy will survive in this country," said Rao.
He also warned the cadres not to work against the party as he underlined the need to follow the 'Maitri Dharma' (ethics of coalition). "I assure you that I will work sincerely for the party.
As party president, I will not belong to any individual but will strive for the party. Whoever damages the party, whatever he/she may be, I will not spare them," said Rao. Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah claimed that the Lok Sabha polls would take place in November and not in April next year. He said he was sure that Modi would not come back to power as he had 'failed' to fulfil his election promises. He also foresaw Rahul Gandhi becoming the next prime minister.
On the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, he said he has written to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to restore the seven kg rice given to an individual from BPL families each month under the 'Anna Bhagya scheme' and roll back the hike in petrol and diesel.
In the coalition government's maiden budget presented last week, the government had reduced the rice quota by two kg and decided to give only five kg per month to an individual from BPL families. It had also hiked the price on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.14 and Rs 1.12 per litre respectively, as part of resource mobilisation efforts following the farm loan waiver, which is expected to cost Rs 34,000 crore to the exchequer.
Cong made sacrifice by forming govt with JDS: Gundu Rao