Delhi: JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda performed a housewarming ceremony at his New Delhi residence, 5 Safdarjung Lane. The function took place a day after Gowda met Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

In 1996, Naidu had played a crucial role in bringing together parties under the Congress-backed alliance, which made Gowda the Prime Minister. 

Gowda owned this house before he became PM in 1996 so it’s considered lucky by the family. According to an astrologer's advice, there were some changes made to the house.  N Chandrababu Naidu visited Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, who declared that the 2019 Lok Sabha polls would be a repeat of 1996.

Gowda said that by God's grace, his physical and mental faculties are efficient. And that may not be the only eligibility to become PM. After the meeting with Naidu, Gowda had briefed the media and said, “Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has taken the lead and met several leaders to unite all secular parties to remove the NDA Government in 2019. He met me and HD Kumaraswamy to chalk out a fresh strategy.”

 Deve Gowda also said, “The NDA rule under the leadership of PM Modi has created so many problems, which includes destabilising constitutionally-created institutes. Now,   it is the responsibility of all secular parties, including the Congress, to come together to replace the NDA Government.”

Gowda has maintained that the country’s secular parties will come together under the leadership of the Congress to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as he denied reports that the grand alliance was losing its sheen. He accused the BJP of indulging in politics of polarisation and exploiting public sentiments, be it the Ram temple issue or the ongoing Sabarimala row.

“Some development will take place before the parliamentary election (and) some will take place after the election is over,” he told reporters.