Kumaraswamy refuses to resign, rebuffs BJP


Bangalore : Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy refused to resign Tuesday as sought by his coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) so as to pave the way for the transfer of power Wednesday.

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Rejecting the BJP deadline, Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) told reporters he had not received any communication from the ally seeking his resignation by Tuesday and transferring power to his deputy B.S. Yediyurappa of BJP.

“I have not received any communiqué from the BJP that I should resign today (Tuesday) and pave the way for the transfer of power. The BJP has conveyed its stand only through the media and not directly to me,” Kumaraswamy told reporters at a Gandhi Jayanti function here.

Earlier, JD-S state unit president Merajuddin Patel also rejected BJP’s ultimatum and ruled out Kumaraswamy stepping down Tuesday.

“Kumaraswamy will not resign. We have already authorised our supremo H.D. Deve Gowda to decide on the power transfer. He has convened the state executive meeting Oct 4 here and the political affairs committee meeting Oct 5 in Delhi to take the final decision on the issue,” Patel told reporters at the party office.

The BJP, however, declined to comment on the defiant stand of the JD-S and decided to bid for more time.

“We will decide our next move at a meeting convened late Tuesday. We made our stand clear late Monday. We will wait for Kumaraswamy’s response till Wednesday and chalk out our next course of action,” Yediyurappa told reporters at his residence.

The JD-S also convened a meeting of its legislators later in the day to discuss the crisis arising out of its ally’s demand for power transfer as per the accord reached between the two parties in February 2006. The JD-S is to transfer power to its ally Oct 3 after Kumaraswamy’s 20-month term as chief minister.

“As the agreement was between the two leaders (Kumaraswamy and Yediyurappa), our party is not in the picture. Moreover, the political situation is not the same as it was 20 months ago. We have to take a consensus view of our legislators as well as of the leadership,” Patel said.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Congress said it was ready for a mid-term election for the state assembly in the event of the JD-S-BJP coalition government falling apart.

“We have retained our top position in the recent urban local bodies elections though the issues were different from those before an assembly election. We are ready to face the snap poll any time,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters later.