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Proposal to make Kharge INDIA bloc leader countered by "own friends": HD Deve Gowda in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda, speaking in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, alleged that the idea of Mallikarjun Kharge leading the INDIA alliance was countered by the Congress chief's "own friends."
Gowda said that the same thing had happened when Kharge's name was being considered for the Prime Ministerial post.
"Kharge Ji you are a person, who is clean, and who worked for nearly 35 to 40 years. But what has happened, when somebody referred your name to become the Prime Minister, or, to become the leader of the INDIA (bloc) that has been countered by their own friends," Gowda said in Rajya Sabha.
As per sources, during the fourth joint meeting of the opposition leaders in the national capital in December, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister had suggested Mallikarjun Kharge's name as the prime ministerial face of the INDIA bloc.
The former Prime Minister in his speech in the Upper House of Parliament also recalled that Congress leaders had picked his son (HD Kumaraswamy) over Kharge to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
"Kharge is a man whom I like. (When) the Congress high command took the decision (that) my son Kumaraswamy should be the Chief that time I didn't want my son to become the Chief Minister, let Kharge become the Chief Minister," Gowda said.
"But, the high command has told that Kumaraswamy should become the Chief Minister. Within 13 months who removed Kumaraswamy (as Chief Minister)? Not Kharge. It is only the Congress leaders. Kharge is one of the honest men to come to the highest place," the JD(S) president said, in his farewell speech for retiring members of the Rajya Sabha.
The Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka headed by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had lost the trust vote in July 2019 after it was formed in May 2018.
Deve Gowda said that when his son was "removed" by Congress, that was the day, he told his son to go with BJP. "That is the day, I told this, Congress cannot allow you, you go with the BJP."
While giving farewell to the outgoing Rajya Sabha member, Manmohan Singh, the JD(S) leader said that the former Prime Minister is an honest man to the core and had saved the nation from a debt trap when PV Narsimha was Prime Minister.
"I know in 1991, I came to Lok Sabha, Dr Manmohan Singh was the Finance Minister and Narsimha Rao was the Prime Minister and at that time 130 tonnes of gold was pledged to see that the country should not go to a debt trap. I know this. Sir, what Manmohan Singh has done on the day to save the country under the leadership of Narsimha Rao," he said.
Gowda further said that Manmohan Singh, a man, who ruled this country for 10 years, wept inside Lok Sabha for the mistake "committed by the top leaders in Congress".
"A day when Manmohan Singh cried for the mistake committed (by) those top leaders in Congress. I know the day what has happened, a man, who ruled this country for 10 years, who saved the country from debt trap, who served the nation with all honesty, cried when the 2G spectrum was discussed in the Lok Sabha," Gowda said.

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