H D Deve Gowda assured he won't
leave secular combination: Opposition leaders



New Delhi, May 15 : Opposition leaders today advised UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and JD(S) leader H D Deve Gowda to stay united to defeat the BJP, and the former prime minister assured them he would not desert the "secular combination" despite pressure from the BJP to "break" his party.
According to opposition sources, Gowda is in touch with all the other secular opposition parties, including the Congress, and the exchange of views is continuing since last night after the internal party reports on the results were discussed.
"All the opposition parties are in touch with each other since last night. We had a talk with Deve Gowda and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. We knew what the BJP would do to come to power. It was decided to advise both the leaders to join hands to stop the BJP," a senior opposition leader said.
"Gowda assured opposition parties he will not
leave the secular combination despite pressure form the BJP to break the JD(S). He has no intentions to join the BJP," the leader said.
Despite the assurance from Gowda, opposition leaders chose to play it safe, refusing to come on record about the JD(S) leader's plans.
Though the Opposition is confident about the combination to work in Karnataka, the fear of horse trading looms large over them.
The Left parties, which have criticised the BJP for forming governments even after not getting a majority in Goa and Manipur, hoped that the Governor takes the constitutional way of installing a government that has a majority on paper.
"The BJP is perfecting the art of losing elections and forming governments. It has become the trademark or USP of the ruling party," CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told PTI.
CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy also spoke on the same lines.
"All dirty manipulations and horse trading can be expected from the BJP as usual. Had this wisdom of unity prevailed before the elections, the result would have been different.
"The Congress should learn a lesson about flexibility on unity with other secular forces in the country," Reddy said.
The Left parties also said that "state specific pre-poll alliances" should be forged by opposition parties to defeat the BJP.
The Karnataka Assembly election results threw up an unexpected  suspense today, as a simple majority tantalisingly eluded the BJP and the Congress quickly proclaimed support to third-placed JD(S) to keep the saffron party out of power.
All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala who will have to decide whether to call BJP, the single largest winner of seats, to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-Congress combine, which together have a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly.
Elections were held for 222 seats on May 12.


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