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Gowda directs JD(S) to vote against government

S. Rajendran

“Discussions with the BJP on power sharing have failed”

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

confabulations: Janata Dal (Secular) president H.D. Deve Gowda having a word with the party’s Karnataka unit president N. Merajuddin Patel and the former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, at a meeting of the JD(S) Legislature Party in Bangalore on Sunday.

BANGALORE: With just hours to go for the B.S. Yeddyurappa government to face the all-important floor test at a specially convened session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Monday, the Janata Dal (Secular) leadership has said the “discussions on power sharing have failed” and consequently the party legislators would vote against the motion of confidence.

The former Prime Minister and national president of the JD(S), H.D. Deve Gowda, who held several rounds of discussions with senior leaders of his party, including the former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, State president of the JD(S), N. Merajuddin Patel, the former Deputy Chief Minister, M.P. Prakash, and N. Cheluvarayaswamy late on Sunday, told The Hindu that he had directed the JD(S) Legislature Party leader and the State president that the legislators should vote against the motion of confidence and that necessary steps should be taken in this regard. “What else can I do? The national leadership of the BJP has not responded to the JD(S) demand to sign a written understanding which could ensure the smooth running of the government. The conditions were drafted following some bad experiences faced during the Kumaraswamy government and I was particular that this should be complied with.”

The JD(S) insisted that the agreement be set out on stamp paper and signed by the leaders of the BJP and the JD(S) Legislature Parties apart from the State presidents of the two parties. The BJP refused to sign any such understanding, and this resulted in a stand-off.

Mr. Gowda said his party, which originally sent across 12 conditions, brought it down to 10. “We gave up the chairmanship of the coordination committee and that the government should be dissolved when Parliamentary elections are announced. The JD(S) sought to retain the portfolios of urban development and mining in exchange for excise and health and family welfare. The BJP flatly refused. How can we accept all this?”

On whether Mr. Kumaraswamy and the party legislators would abide by the decision since the former was instrumental in forging the alliance with the BJP, Mr. Gowda said: “I am confident that they will adhere to the directions. The JD(S) Legislature Party is united.”

BJP’s terms

The BJP has said that whatever was agreed to earlier when the JD(S)-BJP formed the coalition government in 2006 will remain valid for this government too. The BJP also wanted to induct the former Minister, B. Sriramulu, who filed a criminal complaint against Mr. Kumaraswamy resulting in the collapse of the JD(S)-BJP alliance in the first week of October.

In another development, two former State presidents of the BJP, K.S. Eshwarappa and Jagadish Shettar, left for New Delhi apparently to voice their complaint against the “shoddy treatment” being meted out to them by the Chief Minister. The former Higher Education Minister and party senior, D.H. Shankaramurthy, has also gone to Delhi on a similar mission.

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