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BJP stakes claim to form government

Bangalore Bureau

JD(S) backs Yediyurappa for Chief Minister

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

About-TURN: The former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, and the former deputy CM, B.S. Yediyuruppa, outside the Raj Bhavan in Bangalore on Saturday. In a U-turn, the JD(S) has offered to support a BJP Ministry in Karnataka.

BANGALORE: The Janata Dal(Secular), whose refusal to hand over power to its coalition partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party, a fortnight ago led to the imposition of President’s Rule in Karnataka, sprang another surprise on Saturday. In a reversal of its stance, it extended unconditional support to the BJP which, in turn, lost no time in approaching Governor Rameshwar Thakur to stake its claim to form a government.

The two parties together enjoy a comfortable majority of 136 in the 224-member Assembly. With the JD(S) also conveying to the Governor its support to the BJP and the leadership of the former Deputy Chief Minister, B.S.Yediyurappa, the ball is now in his court.

The former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, and JD (S) State president Merajuddin Patel have also sent a letter to President Pratibha Patil.

Only three days ago, did the Governor, in a statement in New Delhi, say the field was still open for government formation, provided the political parties came up with a valid proposal which met constitutional requirements.

Team meets Governor

A BJP delegation that included senior vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu, Mr. Yediyurappa, State BJP chief D.V. Sadananda Gowda and the former Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu also called on the Governor, and submitted a letter asking that the party be allowed to form the government.

President’s Rule has to be revoked before the Governor can act on the demand placed by the BJP and the JD(S).

The 12th Assembly was kept under suspended animation after Mr. Kumaraswamy submitted his resignation to the Governor on October 8. Both the Congress and the BJP had written to the Governor expressing their keenness on fresh elections.

Mr. Kumaraswamy told reporters here that his party’s action became necessary in view of the “attempts by the Congress to break the JD(S)” since 2006. The JD(S) leadership has been under pressure for the past two weeks from the party legislators who do not want early elections.

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