BJP, JD-S prepare for show of strength in Karnataka


Bangalore : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Sunday decided to go for a show of strength at the Raj Bhavan Monday and urge Governor Rameshwar Thakur to invite their coalition to form a government in Karnataka.

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Caught in a battle of nerves to prevent the Congress in forming a new government with the support of JD-S rebels or dissolution of the state assembly leading to early polls, the BJP and the JD-S decided to jointly submit to the governor affidavits signed by legislators of both parties to prove they had the numbers to face the floor-test.

“Both parties will jointly appeal to the governor for inviting us to form the new ministry immediately. We have sworn affidavits from 125 legislators, including 79 from our party and 46 from JD-S to prove we have the numbers to take the floor test,” BJP legislative party leader and prospective chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa told reporters here.

The assembly has 225 members, including a nominated one. The combine requires support of 113 members for a simple majority in the house.

If need be, both parties have also decided to ferry their legislators to Raj Bhavan after a joint legislature party meeting to convince the governor that they enjoy majority in the assembly.

The governor has so far not acted upon the letter of support given by JD-S legislative party leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy Saturday along with the BJP’s letter staking claim to form the next government.

Thakur told reporters early in the day that he was yet to decide on the BJP-JD-S submissions to form a coalition government anew.

“I have not decided on the issue yet. Political matters did not come up for discussions at the first meeting of the executive committee with the three advisors, appointed by the Centre late Saturday. No political decision was taken at the meeting,” he affirmed.

Meanwhile, Contesting Yediyurappa’s claim, JD-S rebel leader and former senior minister M.P Prakash said he had already written to the governor not to accept Kumaraswamy’s letter of support, as no such decision was taken legally by the JD-S legislative party.

“I have already written to the governor not to take cognisance of the letter given by Kumaraswamy supporting BJP to form a new government, as the decision was taken unilaterally without convening a meeting of our legislative party (JDLP) and giving notice to either me or other legislators to discuss such a crucial decision.

“I have also sought an appointment with the governor Monday to explain in detail why he should reject the letter of support and should not invite Yediyurappa to form a new government.”

Endorsing the stand of Prakash, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, N. Dharam Singh and H.K. Patil met the governor late Sunday and urged him not to allow the BJP-JD-S alliance form the government again, as they parted ways on the transfer of power only three weeks ago.

“We told the governor not to entertain Yediyurappa’s claim of having majority to form the government, as several JD-S rebel legislators were against the unholy alliance, as evident from Prakash’s letter to him,” Kharge told reporters.

The Congress leaders also urged Thakur to recommend the dissolution of the house and pave the way for fresh elections, as sought by JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda a fortnight ago after Kumaraswamy resigned following the withdrawal of support by BJP.

BJP central leaders Yashwant Sinha and M. Venkaiah Naidu, however, urged the governor to give their party an opportunity to form the government with the JD-S support, as he was constitutionally bound to do on the strength of letters given by both the alliance partners.