Kumaraswamy quits, speculation of BJP-JD-S tie-up again


Bangalore : H.D. Kumaraswamy quit as Karnataka chief minister Monday evening amid intense speculation that his Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) party might back a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government to prevent imposition of President’s rule.

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Kumaraswamy, who lost majority after the BJP pulled out of the 20-month-old alliance over his refusal to honour his word on power transfer to it, met Governor Rameshwar Thakur late Monday and submitted his resignation.

He was accompanied by Home Minister M.P. Prakash, Energy Minister H.D. Revanna and Transport Minister N. Cheluvaraya Swamy.

According to reports, Kumaraswamy has suggested in the letter that the two parties could team up again to form government.

Earlier, Congress leaders called on Thakur for the second time during the day and urged him to bring the state under direct central rule, party sources said.

The rethink in JD-S, whose refusal to hand over chief ministership to BJP on Oct 3 forced the latter to pull out of the 20-month-old alliance on Sunday, followed the Congress demand for immediate imposition of President’s rule and sacking of Kumaraswamy if he did not quit on his own.

Within hours after a Congress delegation met Governor Thakur to inform him that the party would not support the Kumaraswamy ministry and sought central rule, BJP’s B.S. Yediyurappa rushed to Bangalore from Tumkur, where he launched the party’s campaign to expose the JD-S’ “betrayal”.

Yediyurappa, who was deputy chief minister and was to take over from Kumaraswamy on Oct 3, held a meeting with some of his party leaders at a secret place following feelers from JD-S that it is open to supporting him now.

“We have heard rumours that the BJP and the JD-S are trying to come together again. It is too premature for us to comment,” a senior Congress leader told IANS.

The Congress delegation had apparently urged the governor not to entertain any request from BJP-JD-S to allow them to form a government.

“We will have to wait for the governor’s decision,” the Congress leader said when asked whether his party will oppose any BJP-JD-S move to form a government again or urge the governor to give the party a chance to try to form one.

Kumaraswamy’s father and JD-S president H.D. Deve Gowda declined to comment on speculation about his party’s possible tie up with the BJP.

BJP leaders too declined to comment on the speculation.