MANDYA: Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on Sunday said his respect for Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased manifold when he turned down his wish to resign from the Lok Sabha.
Recalling the incident, Gowda said he had challenged Modi in 2014 Lok Sabha elections that if the BJP came to power on its own by winning 276 seats then he would resign from Lok Sabha.
“I had told him that if you win 276 seats then I will resign. You can rule by forging an alliance with others but if you win 276 seats on your own then I will resign (from Lok Sabha),” Gowda said in a press conference.
He also said that the BJP came to power on its own following which he felt the urge to fulfil the promise he had made.
The JD(S) patriarch recalled that after the victory, Modi had personally invited him to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
After all the celebrations were over, he sought an appointment with Modi, for which he agreed.
When his car reached the portico of the Parliament, Prime Minister Modi himself came there to receive him.
“I have had knee pain since then, which is still continuing. Whatever kind of person he is, that day when my car came to the portico, Modi himself came, held me by my hand and took me inside. This was for a person who had opposed him (Modi) so much,” Gowda said.
Gowda said he expressed his wish to resign from the Lok Sabha.
“I told him that I stand by my words. Please accept my resignation. He told me why I was taking things spoken during election so seriously. He also said that he would require to discuss matters with me whenever situation arises,” Gowda recalled.
After the incident, Gowda met Modi six to seven times as his respect for him increased.
The former Prime Minister said he had opposed Modi after the Godhra incident and his speeches made in Parliament during the period stand testimony to his claim.
However, his meeting with Modi after the latter became prime minister changed his perception.
“I realised to see the change in his personality — from what he was as a Gujarat Chief Minister to what he is after becoming the Prime Minister,” Gowda said.
The JD(S) supremo also said Modi immediately agreed to meet him whenever he wished to see him.