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Kumaraswamy not to step down; BJP Ministers submit resignations

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parting ways? Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his Deputy and BJP leader B.S. Yediyurappa at the launch of developmental works in front of the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore on Tuesday.
parting ways? Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his Deputy and BJP leader B.S. Yediyurappa at the launch of developmental works in front of the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore on Tuesday.

S. Rajendran and B.S. Satish Kumar

BJP leaders asked to wait for decision of JD(S) Political Affairs Committee on Friday

Chief Minister says he can prove his majority in the House

Talk of Congress extending support to JD(S)

Bangalore: The Janata Dal (Secular)–Bharatiya Janata Party coalition in Karnataka appears to have reached the end of the road with 17 BJP Ministers submitting their resignations to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy here on Tuesday night.

The resignations were in protest against what the BJP termed the failure of the JD(S) to honour the power sharing agreement reached between them 20 months ago.

According to the agreement, the JD(S) incumbent was to have stepped down on October 2 to make way for a BJP Chief Minister.

Mr. Kumaraswamy collected the resignation letters but asked the BJP leaders to wait till Friday, when the JD(S) Political Affairs Committee, meeting in New Delhi, would take a decision. The PAC will take a final call on the power transfer issue and the alliance with the BJP.

Mr. Kumaraswamy, addressing the JD(S) legislature party meeting later, offered to step down. The legislators, however, vociferously asked him not to do so.

Ready for challenge

Mr. Kumaraswamy, who had all along said he would resign on October 2, told The Hindu earlier on Tuesday that there was “no question of [his] resigning.” He was “ready to face the challenges ahead” and was “confident of proving my majority on the floor of the legislature when required.”

He said it was for the JD(S) central party leadership to decide on power transfer.

Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister rejected the BJP deadline and said there was no question that he had acted “in haste.”

Meanwhile, there is talk in political circles that the Congress is considering extending external backing to a JD(S) government headed by Mr. Kumaraswamy if the BJP withdraws support.

According to informed sources, central Congress leaders have told the JD(S) that it should snap its ties with the BJP before there could be any discussion on the issue of support.

The Congress had a 20-month alliance with the JD (S), which broke in January 2006 when Mr. Kumaraswamy walked out of the arrangement with a group of JD(S) legislators to form a government with the BJP.

The BJP decision to submit the resignations was taken after day-long consultations and meetings among the party legislators.

Yashwant Sinha, BJP vice-president, who is in charge of Karnataka affairs, attended the meetings to take stock of the fast-moving political developments.

BJP ‘no’ to new terms

Sources in the BJP told TheHindu that the party would not accept new conditions sought to be imposed by the JD(S) on power transfer. It was ready to sit in the Opposition if the JD(S) formed a new coalition with Congress support.

Everything failing, the BJP is preparing for mid-term elections.

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