Ahead of the Karnataka 2023 assembly elections, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Saturday ruled out his party's Janta Dal's any pre-poll alliance with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state.
"If we have to go with the BJP, isn't it laughable, Gowda, the JD(S) national president, asked at news conference.
"We have 28 seats. Can they be asked to vacate? When I was the chief minister, we won 76 seats in the Old Mysuru region. I have lost that place, for which I will fight, he said.
"This is a party that ruled the country once. Due to envy, intolerance and other reasons, this party faced troubles. A Kannadiga becoming the PM was not digested by some people," Gowda said further.
"My decision is to go before the people. I don't need to attack anyone. All I will tell them is the works we've done."
Speculation has been rife for some time that the BJP and JD(S) may be headed towards a pre-poll truck.
Earlier this week, the two parties were seen teaming up to attack the Congress in the Legislative Assembly. Gowda asserted that he wants to save the JD(S) at any cost.
A public meeting has been scheduled on March 20 in Bengaluru where collective decisions will be made on how the party should plan for the 2023 polls in which it wants to win 123 seats.
"We won't fill up buses with people by giving them money. Those who genuinely want this party to stay alive will come," he said.
"The challenge in front of me is to save this party in the state. And, it's not that easy," the former PM added.
Meanwhile, Deve Gowad today praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for BJP's stupendous performance in the Assembly polls.
"PM Modi is battling to bring BJP to power in every corner of the country. He does the election work with all the dedication. Our candidates will fight against two national parties in the state. There is no question of forging an alliance," Deve Gowda said.