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‘BJP’s unilateralism to blame’

Special Correspondent

They refused to enter into a healthy dialogue, says Deve Gowda


“How could we accept Speaker from the BJP?”

“Let there be fresh elections in Karnataka…”


NEW DELHI: Janata Dal (Secular) president and the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party’s central leadership of taking a unilateral approach in the coalition government formation in Karnataka.

Talking to reporters here, he said his party decided to dissociate itself from the BJP-led government as, despite repeated efforts, that party refused to enter into a healthy dialogue and formalise an understanding.

Mr. Gowda said he wanted the central leadership of the BJP and the JD(S) involved in government formation for providing effective governance and continuing the positive incumbency created during the Kumaraswamy regime.

“Sobering effect”

When H.D. Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister for 20 months, the conduct and attitude of the then Deputy Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, was not conducive to running a coalition, he said he hoped and believed that the involvement of the central leadership of the two parties now would have a “sobering effect.”

“It was in that context I mooted a draft of a basic understanding to be abided by the coalition partners and which essentially provides for a consultative approach.”

The memorandum, he said, was also to prevent the mining and real estate lobbies from having an influence on the running of the government.

The points of understanding in the draft were equitable to both the parties but neither was there any response nor any effort to bring the inputs of the central BJP leadership to formalise the understanding.

“Instead, open derision and disdain was sought to be expressed in certain quarters,” he said.

“One-sided”

Mr. Gowda said it was preceded by an agreement sent by the BJP leaders on stamp paper for signing by the two parties.

Terming it one-sided, he said it proposed that the JD(S) would not interfere in the BJP’s choice of a Minister from Bellary. The person chosen was none other than ex-Minister, Sreeramulu, who had made a murder charge against Mr. Kumaraswamy.

Likewise, the agreement, he said, proposed that the Speaker would be a BJP man. “How could we accept it? A number of JD(S) MLAs are facing a disqualification petition. How can we accept a change of the Speaker?”

Mr. Gowda said he welcomed imposition of President’s Rule and dissolve the Assembly. His party would go it alone the coming elections. “Let there be fresh elections in Karnataka. We will come out stronger.”

Pointing out that he sought the dissolution of the Assembly on October 24 itself, he said that unfortunately the Central government preferred to keep it under suspended animation.

Not in all cases

He said:

“The Assembly could have been dissolved then itself, instead of being merely placed under suspended animation.

“The Supreme Court verdict in the Bommai case could not be applied to all situations. I myself dissolved the Gujarat Assembly when I was the Prime Minister without any problem.”

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