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Sign pact first in Karnataka, JD(S) tells BJP

S. Rajendran

Bangalore: The Janata Dal (Secular) has taken the stand that if the Bharatiya Janata Party wanted to win the confidence vote in the Assembly on Monday then it should first sign the power-sharing agreement. The BJP, however, maintained that there was no question of yielding to this demand now.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on arrival here on Saturday ruled out any further discussions with the JD(S) until the government sails through the floor test. While it was the former Chief Minister and JD(S) legislature party leader, H.D. Kumaraswamy, who was calling the shots over the past fortnight during the run-up to the formation of Yeddyurappa Govt, it is the former Prime Minister and national president, H.D. Deve Gowda who has now entered the picture.

The 12 conditions listed in the draft of the agreement have been prepared by Mr. Deve Gowda based on the discussions that he had with BJP president Rajnath Singh and the BJP leader in charge of Karnataka, Yashwant Sinha, long before the BJP formed the government in the State.

Mr. Deve Gowda, who refrained from attending the last few meetings of the Janata Dal (S) legislature party, will play a key role at the JDLP meeting to be held on Sunday to primarily interact with the party legislators before a final decision is taken on whether the party legislators should vote in favour of the motion of confidence or against. While the BJP high command is stated to have dismissed the conditions as “suggestions” of the coalition partner, the JD(S) has said “compliance with the conditions is mandatory” if the government had to continue.

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